Of spuds and hope.

There is a famous line about life giving you lemons and how you can make lemonade out of them. I’m not sure this qualifies, but it close.

A while back, I was feeling in the mood for some mashed potatoes. They’re a simple sort of “comfort food”, the kind of thing anyone who can boil water and peel spuds can make. Made wrong, they can be close to torture to eat. Made right…..ahhhhhh, now that is something to be savored. Anyway, the spuds were purchased, the plan was made, and everything was looking good.

As is usual, just when you think everything is going to plan, life throws the proverbial monkey wrench into the works. What happened in my case isn’t important, just that I didn’t get to make mashed potatoes when I’d planned to. So, no boiling, testing, mashing and feasting. So, no need to have the potatoes out waiting. So, the spuds go into storage. And they wait……….

Potatoes wait fairly well…..most times. Spring ain’t one of them. When you buy potatoes in the spring, odds are that they’re coming out of some agribusiness storage facility, because they were harvested sometime the year before. Like most plants that grow from tubers (think tulips), when the weather starts to warm, they want to grow. So it was that when I went back to my spuds….after a waiting period I will not specify (because I honestly can’t remember!), I found them well and truly covered in sprouts. Now normally, if a potato has a few small sprouts on it, you can just knock them off and you can go ahead and cook the spud with no problem. When they get to the point these potatoes where at, though, abandon all hope of eating them!

So I had something of a quandary. The potatoes where toast, so I wasn’t going to be eating them, so I’d have to buy some more. What do I do with these poor specimens, though? Two things about me: I love a good experiment, and I really love to grow vegetables. So, the perfect science experiment: plant the sprouting potatoes and see what happens! Last year I turned over a small plot of ground off the porch and grew some pole beans there. The vines yielded a decent harvest, though I had some problems with bugs late in the season. Pole beans, like any other legume, fix nitrogen into the soil, so one thing I knew for sure: that small plot would be primed for something else to follow those beans. The spot also gets good-to-decent sunshine levels, so there would be plenty of sunshine to help my new crop grow. Perfect! Time to plant!

A small plot isn’t a place for a tiller, it’s a place for something smaller, like a turning fork, a shovel, a hand trowel,………a good pocket knife. Yes, that’s right, a good, sharp knife. Planting those potatoes whole would have been both a waste and presented the very real chance that of multiple plants coming off each potato. So the plan was simple: break the soil up, turn it over a few times, slice the spuds into at least half, and dig a hole with the trowel to put them in.

Problem #1: Once I got looking at it, and remembering how far apart potatoes are supposed to be planted, I suddenly noticed that I was going to need more room…..lots more room! So the plot gets extended…..and stretched a bit more…..and I’m still short of space! Well, there is a small area in front of the plot that isn’t used (too much!), so it gets added to the plot too.

Problem #2: The lock blade I carry is plenty sharp, but it’s blade is only about four inches long….and I have to cut the spuds on an angle (so I can give the two halves at least one sprout)……and the potatoes weren’t small to begin with. The solution? Well, all I can say is that it is better if you can bury you mistakes than have to look at them! The spuds got but up, but neat had nothing to do with it.

So, everything’s planted, the soil’s smoothed and….now we wait. I’ve got some hay around (a winter project needed insulation) that will go around the plants once they get up a ways……if they get up a ways! So, here’s the deal: I’ll keep a log of what happens, any and all major event, be they good or (not unlikely) bad, get reported here. America has tons of good soil, and many poor people who need food. I don’t know if they could all be helped by access to a small plot of ground, but here’s my attempt to help myself in a small way. Know of a community garden, or a place where people just grow stuff like an empty lot? Give’em a hand, join them, and who knows, you might find you like it! At the least, you might be able to grow something for your own table, or for someone who needs it. Two good goals, those. Carry on!

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One Response to “Of spuds and hope.”

  1. r Says:

    U boring cunt.
    You are the typical sad american.
    Pretending to be Irish.
    You are not just a boring cunt, you are a very sad and boring typical american cunt.
    I would love to break your nose.
    you know, if you had one brain cell firing, you might almost be worth noticing. then again, someone stupid enough to post the same, identical post from two (badly) faked email accounts can’t be in line for employment at, say, NASA (or for that matter, anywhere else you need to be able to walk upright and fart at the same time).
    grow a brain.
    grow come creativity.
    GET A FUCKING LIFE!

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