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Sounding Off: Unity helps plants, world thrive

August 11, 2010|By Barry Samuels

I have some cantaloupes growing in my backyard.

I didn't intentionally plant them. They started growing from some cantaloupe seeds in my compost bin. Out of the hundreds of cantaloupe seeds I placed into my compost bin, only one was able to find its way out and take root. I watched it grow and wondered if it was going to be a cucumber, squash or melon because I had placed all of them in the bin over the past few years. Right next to the bin are healthy sunflowers growing 8 feet tall, a transplanted grape vine, three different types of tomatoes, butterfly milkweed, buckwheat and many other types of vegetation.

In my backyard, plants are not in competition with one another for survival. My plants are part of the ecosystem and work in unison. The plants in my yard find that diversity works. They don't require fertilizers or pesticides and not very much water. The individual leaves on the plants in my yard are all attached to the plant. Their goal is to help keep the plant alive by working together. Many of my leaves have sacrificed themselves for the good of the plant and for the good of the garden. No one thinks less of them because they were unable to stay alive forever. The individual leaves on my plants all realize that each plant has a purpose. Whether it is to thrive and bear fruit or to quickly die and provide nourishment for the soil in the form of compost. There are no winning or losing plants in my backyard.

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I don't agree with the characterization of competition and nature's way as presented by M.H. Millard ("Sounding Off: States need to have more individual power," Aug. 10).

Near the end of his commentary he claims: "Of course, there should still be some reasonable rules and controls over what the states can and can't do, but they should be far fewer than they are today."

Of course, Millard wants to be the one to pick the rules and controls for the rest of us. Not in my backyard!

BARRY SAMUELS lives in Costa Mesa.

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