Saturday, May 9, 2009

planting potatoes

planting potatoes
Originally uploaded by norvegal

Did you know that potatoes grow from potatoes? Not innocent little seeds but actual fully grown potatoes?

It seems sort of strange to me, a little cannibalistic, but there you have it. To grow a potato plant, you take another potato -- a particularly healthy, "pathogen-free nuclear stock" potato but basically a potato -- and if it's large you take a sharp knife and ruthlessly hack it apart. Usually only into two pieces, but still. You do this right there in front of its friends and family. They can hear the screams. They know their own fate. It's awful.

My own potato massacre took place yesterday. I set the pieces out to dry overnight, and I gave them a proper burial this afternoon.

But their martyrdom shall not be for naught, my friends. With any luck, from their dark tombs shall sprout healthy green leafy plants with lovely blossoms. And while those plants shall themselves shrivel and die in 13 to 17 weeks, do not despair.

You need only look under the surface for hope. Literally underneath the surface where those plants were growing. Pull away the soil and you'll discover a whole new batch of young, healthy potatoes ready for harvesting. Like panning for gold, sift through the soil and you'll find one, two, three, four, five, a dozen or more beautiful healthy babies just waiting to be baked, dotted with butter, and eaten alive.

Ahhhhh, nature.


Cat Bordhi said...

There is almost nothing I love more than digging my hands into lovely loamy soil in search of the magical potatoes that lie hidden beneath. It fills me with such inexplicable joy. There are always little baby potatoes nestled next to their older family members, and those are the dearest of them all. How wonderful that you have planted potatoes. Yummy yummy yummy. I'll bet new cells have sprouted already down in the sweet dark earth.

Marg said...

I love growning 'taters' too! It was especially fun when my children were small; digging them up with me brought them such joy. Exactly like 'panning for gold', as you say. I share a garden with my sister; perhaps I can persuade her to plant potatoes this year. Nothin' like baby 'taters', gently cooked in their skins, with real butter on 'em!