Remember “The Little Shop of Horrors,” an off-broadway play and movie in which a florist’s assistant named Seymour crosses a Venus Fly Trap with a butterwort plant and gets a hybrid so large that it starts eating people? He named it Audrey, Jr., after a co-worker he was sweet on.

vinesWe’ve thought about naming the vine in our back yard Audrey III.

We’d planted some daffodil bulbs last winter, after digging up a spot and enriching the hard clay with fresh soil from my “dirt machine,” a black plastic contraption that we keep filled with vegetable scraps and eggshells from the kitchen, along with mulched leaves and grass from the yard. Over time, the heat, bacteria, and worms go to work, and as the compost sinks to the bottom, it morphs into dirt — mostly. Things like corncobs and seeds usually surdirtmachinevive, and some of the latter made their way to our daffodil spot.

After the daffodils died out, we noticed some new plants sprouting. We didn’t know what they were, but decided to let them grow and see what happened. Over the summer, the several volunteer vines stretched in every direction I’d let them go, taking over a big swath of the backyard.

They turned out to be butternut squash — something I’d have never thought to plant, but which apparently does very well in our partially shaded back yard. The guts of a butternut squash we had used for soup had journeyed through the dirt machine and has now blessed us with half a dozen progeny, and probably more to come.

I suppose it wasn’t a pleasant journey, so far as seeds are aware of such things, butbutternut we’re anticipating some pleasant eating before long — which will provide more compost — which should provide more volunteer plants, and maybe next year we’ll have Audrey IV.

In this case, at least, the humans get to do the eating.

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