Wednesday, October 29, 2008

little potato

i wanted to link you to a nice concise explanation of how potatoes grow, but all of the descriptions seemed to make it sound so intimidating and more complicated than fun...too many rules.

here is what works for me:
1) my neighbor hands me a few little potatoes that have grown eyes (she grew them in her garden and they grew eyes on the shelf in her pantry)
2) i bury them outside in a container (w/ drainage holes in the bottom) under some soil & compost (about 4 inches) and watch the green leafy plants emerge (burying whole potatoes versus pre-cut sets is a common practice in England is simple and i like it)
3) after a few weeks i hill up more soil (i hear you can do this w/ straw versus soil, and that sounds nifty, but i have not tried it yet) around the green leafy plants, leaving a few inches of each plant above the soil
4) the visible parts of the plants eventually turn yellowish brown and slump over
5) i dig* into the soil beneath and around the slumped over plants and find potatoes** of various sizes, including the little potato shown above

what fun! i highly recommend planting potatoes.

* don't wait too long to dig or your tubers may decay

**don't eat any tubers that have been exposed to the sun and turned green, they contain a moderately poisonous substance called solanine

Monday, October 20, 2008

afterglow, defintion #2

The day was too short. It was still early, but the sun was slowly sinking and then suddenly dropped behind the hills. As I finished planting this new box the sky grew quite dark. One might think I'd be disappointed, but the transition from dusk to dark this evening was so calm and peaceful that I didn't really mind at all. I pushed the last remnants of soil off the edges and into the box and was ready to head inside with my shovel and empty black plastic pots, but I could not pull myself away. I quickly went inside and turned on the light so I could hurry back outside and admire the box, filled with it's elegant plants and grasses, standing proudly beneath the glow spilling out of the window. It's the little things in life...



1. light glow: radiated light that remains visible after a source of light or energy has been removed, e.g. the glow sometimes seen in the sky after sunset

2. good feeling: a feeling of pleasure or a favorable impression that remains after a positive experience
basking in the afterglow of victory