Here’s an image of a tomato plant growing as a weed in Chicago:
And weeds growing as houseplants:
These images are by Vanessa Smith, who loves weeds. Claudine Ise asks her all the right questions in this fascinating interview.
I first learned about [weeds] by working on my parent’s farm, especially in their vegetable garden. Weeds were simply identified by their out of place-ness, that they didn’t belong where they grew, according to what we wanted to grow. Because we were trying to grow vegetables and not weeds, I learned an antagonistic relationship to weeds. The way I thought about them started to change with the short time I spent with a forager. He made his modest living by driving his used Toyota through the dirt roads of southern Minnesota to find wild edibles that he could sell to restaurants in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I accompanied him once out of curiosity, and it really opened my eyes to pay attention to the plants growing on the margins. When you are foraging, you look for something in particular, but in the wildness of where you are looking you always notice a plant you aren’t expecting.”
The experience of eating or growing or even walking past something that has significance will change the way you eat, grow and walk past other things.”