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Kobayashi Maru and tomato seedlings

The Kobayashi Maru is a test given to Starfleet cadets to test their character. It’s a no-win scenario. This test forms a cornerstone story in Star Trek. As a cadet, James Kirk reprogrammed the test in order to succeed. He didn’t believe in no-win scenarios.

That’s something Captain Kirk and I have in common.

I’m always looking for the third option. I’m taking a class that asks us to choose the best option in scenarios like, would you choose an action that saves 100 lives now or one that saves thousands of lives 200 years from now? My answer is always both–why not both?

This brings me to starting tomato seeds. In my mind, I’m no good at it; I tend to plant seeds expecting a 50% success rate and consistently end up at a 95-100% germination rate with way too many plants. But the scenario below was an accident.Too many seedlings in one tiny pot

In this case, I didn’t intentionally put seven seeds in one pot. I think I lost track and left one pot empty and overloaded another. The common wisdom here is to sacrifice some of the extras. But what’s the third option?

The third option is to tease those tiny seedlings apart. I extracted the single plant before turning to the three sets of twins. I went slow and exercised patience, which is not always my strong suit. And now I have seven tiny Gardener’s Sweetheart Cherry tomato plants, each in their own spacious four-inch pot. A week later, I can’t tell them apart from the other seedlings. I think that gives me over 30 plants in total. Oops. Too many for two people, but thankfully, that’s not a problem I need to solve today.