Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Potato Volcanoes & World Peas

Today I hilled the potatoes for the second time. I had initially planned to hill them only until the bed was filled (I planted them in a new bed and had put in only a little soil before planting the potatoes.) and then run a little chicken wire around the bed and fill it with straw as the potatoes grew. Well, the potatoes have grow madly and I never got the chicken wire up. So now, what to do? On the one hand, if I quit now, I am pretty confident I will have more potatoes than I'll know what to do with- but on the other hand there's that challenge to see just how much food I can get out of my little garden. Maybe it's too late. I don't know. The potatoes have not yet flowered. But most of them are at least two feet tall now (all except the two traumatized when Luna dug them up and ran around with them before dropping them in the yard). They look like potato volcanoes- big brown earth volcanoes with green lava shooting out the top. The picture doesn't do them justice.

There is more news from the garden today. The first tomatoes have been spotted on one of the Amish Paste plants. I didn't expect them to set fruit so quickly after I set them in the newest bed; but a plant's got to do what a plant's got to do!

The chard, which sat around on the front porch for too long, casting increasingly reproachful glares my way, is doing well where it was planted to replace the spinach and arugula. Did I tell you I planted the chard mainly because it is pretty? I've never eaten chard, so that is one of this year's garden experiments.

After hilling the potatoes, I made my way through the rest of the garden. The strawberries are preparing to put out flowers. I'm not supposed to let them flower, and thus fruit, the first year. But I can tell you right now I will be eating strawberries out of my garden this year. That's just how its going to be.

I don't think I've ever specifically pointed it out, but if you've noticed in previously posted pictures, my garden lies just next to and therefore, for all intents and purposes, under a huge maple tree. It's the sunniest spot in my yard. But maple trees mean maple helicopters. Lots of 'em. Every single day I spend time pulling up the seedlings as the helicopters sprout.

I don't know about you, but when I assume the gardeners stoop, I prefer not to spend my mental freedom (it's weed pullin', not rocket science) thinking about the pain in my joints. My mind wanders. And today my thoughts were about maple seedlings and how much time I spend pulling them. And I decided that everyone should have a garden of their own. The rationale here is the old saying Idle hands are the devil's playground. I certainly don't have time to be running around making trouble in the world. No siree, I have weeds to pull! Really, I think it is time gardening became a required course. Who can spend time in a garden of their own without developing a greater appreciation of the interconnectedness of life? Plus, weed pulling isn't really optional. If you want the effort of planting to yield something, you must pull weeds. Maybe not all of them; but certainly a great many of them. If everyone had a garden to tend, a lot of people would have a lot less free time in which to find mischief...

"Say General, I was thinking about harassing South Korea today. Why don't you swing by so we can make plans?"
"Oh, gee, sorry Kim. I'd love to but I have weeds to pull. How about I stop by tomorrow? No, wait, I have to hill potatoes tomorrow. Friday? No, no... I promised to help can the tomatoes Friday... Look, why don't I get with you next week after I get caught up with the garden chores?"

And of course, nobody ever gets caught up with the garden chores... Yep, I think that's the recipe for world peas.


Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Clever post;-)

(Thanks for your note on my blog...the plant is an invasive--pretty as it is--Artemesia 'oriental limelights').

Meg said...

You're hilarious.

dee said...

I've never understood why you shouldn't let strawberries flower the first year - I allowed mine to flower last year, ate the fruit and this year cant believe the amount of fruit that's on them. It hasn't had any affect at all..
Thanks for stopping by

Maggie said...

Jan, Thank you. When I post things like this I always wonder if people will laugh with me or at me.

Meg, I love you because you embrace my wackiness.

Dee, Thanks very much for the info about your strawberries! I feel much better about my plan!