Tag Archives: Potatoes

Potatoes are IN.

Yesterday I got to my garden.

I haven’t planted anything of my own since last Autumn when the garlic got in

  
They seem to be growing well

  
The folks who own the land planted the first 20 pounds of potatoes last week

This is the bed I set to plant in the remaining 25 pounds

Buckwheat was planted there last season

  
I’m not sure when it was last tilled, but this was a job for the push-hoe

My favorite hand tool!

 
Heart-shaped T-handled push-hoe, to be more precise 

 This is the view looking back down the bed after first swiping through

Then, I raked up the weeds.

Here’s what it looked like prior to push-hoeing… Before… & After. 

Ah-mazing.

Yep. Love my push-hoe. 
Then, the wheel-hoe with the chisel-plow attachments to create two furrows where the potatoes will be set

 
Shoved & grunted my way through Quack Grass roots

That’s some strong medicine in those roots!

  

It’s also built for a taller frame, so it’s not the most ideal tool for this body.

But, it did the work to be done.

Time to fetch the potatoes & Potash

   

 

Three varieties left

  

Loaded up in the garden-way cart

  

…some Potash goodness for the potatoes dusted into the furrows

Thank you, Ocean

 
Starting with the variety Strawberry Paw

  

Some of the seed from this variety was larger than an egg, so they were cut so that at least two eyes remained on each piece

 Eyes, check.

 The phrase “snug as a bug in a rug” came to mind…

  
Hooray!

Onto the next variety

 I really like purple potatoes

  

Last, but not least… The German Butterball.

Quite a delicious potato.

  
All in!

Time to zip them up…

  
Zzzzzzip

  
Zzzzzzip

Potatoes are IN.

In the remaining 4 feet at the far end of the bed, I seeded two varieties of sunflowers.

It’s older seed… Hopefully they’ll germinate well.

It remains to be seen.

 
I forget how much I enjoy this work… 

It felt so good to tend to my garden.

Dry beans coming soon!

 


One of my favorite times of the year.

This time of year
Is one of My Favorite Times of the year.

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Winter Squash is coming in

(The Kabocha, the dark green critter, has a couple slug tastings munched out of it, so won’t make it to Deep Winter)

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The Sungold tomatoes are still doing their thing

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Potatoes are being dug for storage
Beets staying firm in the soil
& a few Serrano Peppers still managing to ripen through this cooler-than-usual Summer

There are herbs for tea & seeds for the following season
drying above the refrigerator

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And scattered around other locations in the apartment

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Thank you Late Summer
Thank you Winter, Thank you Spring
Thank you Summer
Thank you Autumn


Bucket Gallery.

Got to the garden yesterday after work

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(Inside out hat makes for a veryfine bowl)

And I found that the stark white of a (relatively) clean 3-gallon bucket creates a lovely backdrop for just-harvested vegetables.

So begins (well, perhaps) a series:

Bucket Gallery

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It’s sort of late in the season, and my garden is slowing down in terms of production & variety, so fingers crossed next season I’ll keep a garden again & continue on with the series.


Change

one of my closest friends is moving

to another state, about 6 hours away.

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(that’s her.  and yeah, those would be collards…)

that she’s moving is both a wonderful thing and a sad thing

i feel a big joy & happiness

and

i feel a great loss & deep sadness

she is a special creature

easy to talk with, kind, accepting, open, playful, thoughtful, allows herself and others the space for the wide range of feelings that blow through a human at any given time…

we’d encourage each other in our dreams, share our hopes, fears, & goings-on in any given day…

i respect the way she lives her life…

it’s a great choice, her moving to where she’s headed

…near her family, within community, and to a progressive state that seems to have its sh*t together.

together today we dug the last of the potatoes.

in 2009, along with 3 other women, we farmed together on this land.

had a small, organic CSA

she’s old enough to be my mom (her son & i are the same age) but we are similar creatures in many ways.

it was a really nice day today for digging potatoes.

cool and overcast

soil not too cold

easy digging

lots of juicy earthworms.

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(this big boogie came up with my first dig.

base of palm to middle finger tip is 6 and 1/4 inches, folks.

ho-lee whopper.  it proceeded to crawl into my sleeve as i walked it back to the potato bed.)

today we dug up over 89 pounds of potatoes.

(not including green ones and stabs).

add this to the already dug up, boxed, & shrouded in old sheets and towels – in all it makes nearly 500 pounds of potatoes.

i love growing potatoes.

like digging for buried treasure.

driving home i was reflecting on the day we planted them in May…

she and i and the woman who owns the land…

our ages in May were 67, 41, and 71, respectively.

my friend and i did most of the heavier work, but we all pitched in.

when mrs. landowner was tired, she sat in a lawn chair that we dragged into the garden and tell us stories about times in her life… that day sharing stories from her experience as a Freedom Rider in the 60’s.

rich tales straight from history

we were floored.

she kept apologizing for not doing more work…

“no no no!”  we’d say  “this is GREAT thank you for sharing your stories!!”

moved by this repetition of apology, i shared about images i once saw many years ago while working at an art & paper supply store in NYC

it looked like it was from an old magazine.  written in French (which i don’t speak) but from the photos it was clear that in this hand-made-paper-making town, the entire community was involved.  young and old.

the stronger people pulled the paper.

(link to an image of a burly dude pulling paper.  whoa that frame is HEAVY)  http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4492/1787/1600/duchene.jpg

the elders sat around a table together, removing petals from flowers to be used as inclusions in the paper pulp.

(i’ll try to see if i can find the image somehow…)

the photos from this old French town, a community working together and honoring the bodies & skills of each person, really struck me.

this, to me, was a sort of cohesion & honoring & connection i feel there is a lot of room for in our culture…

the potato planting day reflected this sort of mini-community…

each of us working together

contributing skills at our level of ability

we took our time

(read: slow)

talking, resting, drinking plenty of water, snacks as needed, listening to stories, and acknowledging each other for the good work we were doing…

o i love my friend.

(sigh)

it’s a big change for her

a literal grand movement towards something she’s been wanting for a long, long time…

i look forward to visiting her in her new home

i am happy knowing she’s settling in a great place

i will miss her deeply.

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ramblings about a day

you never know what a day will bring

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it can start with an unsettling dream

that sticks like muffin batter on a finger through the morning

only to burn off like a fog

some clarity comes with movement and purpose

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then to be met by news of cancer and more cancer at work

with no one to tell (which is all fine and good)

i suppose it’s a chance to practice holding such things… and being with them.

sometimes, though, i don’t really know how to do it

is this the right way?  am i doing it okay?

i have no idea.

the day unfolds

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out in the world, connecting with vendors, some friendly, some neutral

avoiding drivers who seem to not know what a stop sign is

the lift of a song on the radio

and after work sitting with a friend

who is in her early sixties – a lovely woman who practices massage and creates healing tinctures with medicinal mushrooms and plants

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with her ancient cat on my lap we talk and reconnect

i hear her speak about age and time and clarifying, simplifying her garden

“potatoes are too much work.  next year i’m planting BEETS!”  she says with a sort of triumphant surity

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i applaud and respect this gentle honoring of her own body, and it’s changing limits

as i have noticed my own body shifting and changing

its needs differ from 10 years ago

i can work with it, or against it

either way, the body will win

so i may as well follow its lead

she said to me early on in our visit

that she thought i seemed more clear, like my boundaries were more intact.

it was a high compliment.

“i’ve been saying “no” more”

and she smiled and nodded and understood

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this is a brave woman

living her life

with her dog and her cat

helping people and their children through loving attention and skilled touch

sharing the medicine of the plant world

soon she’ll be leaving for India…

with much gratitude i feel at the moment for this friendly acquaintance.

it was nice to be heard, telling her about how sometimes it’s sort of unnerving to never know what i’ll be met with in a day

she has worked with elders before

so she understood

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i guess i’ve thought about death for most of my life

not to be grim

but the awareness of it is always nearby

not that i’ve been skillful in this awareness…

rambling… rambling…


Metta Kitty Farm – 2011 growing season – murderer, homewrecker, & kidnapper

cleaning

the simple act of cleaning

or even harvesting a potato

can wreak havoc on beings.

a solo spider

whose web i have no idea how long it takes to construct

to create to spin its web its home its food gatherer

& i have no idea

of how time even occurs to any one spider

of all the spiders i see

and i see them

a simple swish of a damp towel

a movement of this arm

and a home, an elegant, complex tool

is gone

obliterated.

and sometimes, too, the spider.

it’s hard to know

(when given the task

accepting the task

of cleaning)

which webs to leave?

which webs to destroy?

i am unaware of any logic to the choice-making.

and then there are the potatoes.

hidden.

among entire communities.

entire worlds, a network, a nursery…

completely disturbed

and exposed with one turn of a digging fork.

the sudden activity

the gathering up of babies

the spilling out of ant bodies

rapid movements

on the what-is-now surface

seen

innumerable creatures

with purpose

and direction

working together

some gathering

some attacking

i stomp my feet & shake my hands

knocking the potato gently

shaking off the ants

so they are left behind

with their people

& not kidnapped

(however unintentionally)

the ones in the bucket

unseen

unknown

soon their fate will be drowning

unless, of course, they can crawl out of the bucket

which is unlikely.

so much destruction

devastation

harm

however unintentionally.

this world seems not set up for very very slow…

i long to move with all the time in the world

as a great giant tortoise would

through a day

perhaps, then,

lives could be saved

communities preserved

and still, the work could get done.