Letters to Holly

Wednesday, July 18

The Potato Fairy

A road crew is working in front of Your Parents' house, and I arrived there to find Kempas asleep in her house. That never happens. I think the construction noise kept her awake. She still doesn't seem to understand that she has a longer leash now.

I got home to find Your Sis sporting a new shorter haircut and plucking garlic bulbs. We discovered some plants had taken root all on their lonesome early this year. A recent newspaper article prompted her to harvest them this week. I had wanted to check on some potatoes, and so I went to yanking.

Harvesting potatoes is pretty easy: You grab the stalks and gently tug the plants free. Then you shake the dirt off the taters and pluck the edible ones. Then you gently dig into the surrounding ground to find any taters that may have snapped off during extraction. Some stalks still had the original seed potatoes attached and intact. Some seed quarters had decomposed to jelly, and I suspect they were eaten by grubs. I pulled up less than half of the garden because these stalks had the least amount of support and had fallen over. They were snapping and yellowing, and I feared the stalks wouldn't feed the potatoes anymore. So up they came. I finished with about five pounds of potatoes. A lot of the plants yielded tiny potatoes that might work as salad crutons. We'll allow the rest to grow a bit longer, and we might eat some of these tonight. Some of the ones I plucked were split, suggesting the soil was missing some nutrients. I suspect I didn't plant the seeds far enough from each other.

It's the first thing I've planted and grown. It was like Christmas. "What did I get? Did I do this right?" I made potatoes!

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