[Not-so] small potatoes

Sweet potatoes.

Dug from my backyard!!!

While I feel warranted in my mild overuse of exclamation points, I must now explain the irony of my success:

[Exhibit A]:

A fern, in my house. I bought this fern to top a funky plant stand I found at an estate sale (is it normal to find a plant stand first, and then decide that to properly display the stand, I am forced to buy a plant?) It looked like this a mere 2 months after I purchased it, and has continued to grace my stairway, in all its dead, brittle glory, for three months since. (Cross-reference this post for more on how I “just don’t notice” dead plants.)

Conclusion: Keeping plants alive is not my forté.

Back in early June, we had just moved into our house, and I was at the Farmer’s Market. I was still in that state of new-house euphoria, filled with a baseless hope that somehow, in a new house, I’d become a good gardener. One of the farmers at the market was selling sweet-potato starts — five for a dollar.

I like sweet potatoes! I should grow some!

And so I brought them home. Where they sat, in a jar of water, for almost a week. And one morning Tim said, “If you don’t plant those they’ll die.” And so I went outside, and dug some holes in a wee space between our two small garden boxes, and stuck them in the ground.

And they grew, and we successfully ignored them for the rest of the summer.

Then one day, again in his voice of eternal wisdom, Tim said, “If you don’t dig up those potatoes before the first frost, they’re gonna be toast. Although I doubt there’ll be much to dig up; you’re supposed to mound potatoes when you plant them.”

(Um, ok, husband. Could you have maybe thought to tell me this four months ago when I planted them at your rightful beckoning? Oh, and thanks for the vote of confidence.)

And then I still let them sit in the ground.

So Tim came home last night, and I saw him outside, but didn’t know what he was doing. Then he came inside, carrying two pounds of sweet potatoes.

[Exhibit B]
The evidence that Tim thought there wouldn’t be anything to dig up. He dug so close to the vines coming up out of the ground, that he sliced two in half.

[Exhibit C]
Maybe I’ve changed one too many diapers in the past 6 years, but this one looks a little creepy. We’ll still eat it.

Conclusion: Between the two of us, one eternally lazy gardener and one slightly apathetic gardener, miracles can still happen. Either that, or sweet potatoes are like cats: they are happiest when mildly ignored, laying in the sun.

10 thoughts on “[Not-so] small potatoes

  1. Go you! Did you tell Tim “Face!”
    Love your exhibit C. It takes me back to a meal at a local family restaurant in my grandparents’ little farm town just on the border between Tennessee and Mississippi. A farmer brought in a giant sweet potato from his garden to brag to his farming buddies, one of whom replied (try to imagine your best southern accent), “Tom, that’s just downright vulgar.”

    1. Actually, I don’t have to imagine. For some reason, I think moving northward has only increased my own Southern accent. It’s kinda embarrassing.

      And I’m with the farming buddy…

  2. I can’t believe I am better with plants than you are. It’s like when you were better at Youth Leg than I was, it just doesn’t seem to make sense.

  3. SIBLING RIVALRY! Amy and Katy were very competetive during their Youth Legislature days. Their teacher would not put them both in the same branch because of the rivalry. One year, one won Outstanding Representative and the other won Outstanding Senator for the State of Mississippi. I think each achieved the honor twice but only once both the same year. This note is to explain the above banter.

    1. Actually, Katy won Outstanding Senator while I was First Runner-Up for Outstanding Representative. THAT was when Katy was better at Youth Leg than I was.

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