Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Potatoes in a pot

...on the roof?

Hm. I had forgotten that I wanted to grow potatoes on the roof farm. But looking at these pictures taken in my mother's garden reminded me. It is such fun to dig down into the soil in a bucket or pot and find...whole potatoes! As if by magic. 

Is it worth it? Will it feed the family? No, probably not. But it is worth it for just this moment, when the pale potato appears from the dark soil and your hand pulls the firm, new tuber out and dusts it off, and puts it in the dish, for a meal, soon. And to say that, We'll just cook them simply, and eat them with butter and salt, and then do that. And for everyone to chew them carefully and to be careful to note that they were in the soil, growing just hours before, and that they taste different, and to feel somewhere secretly, that what you just did was important.

That is a memory. And in the end, those are all we have. In our rockers, in the ignominy of growing age, we can rock and remember those potatoes we ate together that summer. If we remember.

I will grow my potatoes from store-bought ones that have sprouted. I am only going to grow enough for a few meals, so starting from proper seed potatoes is not worth it, for me. Fill the container with soil two thirds of the way, pop in about 3 pieces of potatoes with sprouted eyes, cover, water, and wait. They are ready after their blooms have faded and their leaves start to think about turning yellow.

As with most of my recipes, the devil is in the details. As with babies, do not let them sit wet, and make sure they drain well. Do not forget to water. They should be in full sun, but my mom's weren't. They were in the shade of the tree tomato. So if you have one of those, maybe it helps.

I grow them for pleasure, for fun, for entertainment, for a meal with a story. Coming home to water the potatoes is my idea of clicking on the TV...

I'm not sure how long they will take, but I am sure that I will have grown irritated by their lanky long stems and yellowing leaves and will be wondering why I decided to endure them, by the time I dig them up .

But they are pretty.

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