Potatoes Toward Weekend

Freshly Dug Potatoes

Rain kept vegetable farmers out of their fields. The rule of thumb is wait four days after a rain for fields to dry. It rained all day yesterday.

Equipment is ready, truckloads of seed potatoes wait in bags, and farmers want them in the ground.

Conditions are ready to plant any cold weather vegetable once soil dries.

Traditional potato planting day is Good Friday, and some gardeners, including me, continue to follow that timetable. I’m growing in containers this year, so feel good about planting a bit early this weekend. I grow them in containers to keep burrowing rodents from getting the first pick and last year the technique worked.

In the break room at the home, farm and auto supply store a case was made not to grow potatoes at all.

They are cheap at the store. There is little difference between a freshly dug potato and a proper storage potato, they said. They take up space that can be planted with more desirable crops like tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. Nutritionally, potatoes are carbohydrates shunned in many modern households.

Leek and Potato Soup

Nonetheless, I persist in producing spuds for fresh eating and cooking. They are a small crop in a diverse home garden.

Growing potatoes — gardening generally — is a statement of resilience. A personal action running counter to a political class with which we increasingly disagree.

Let them ask their questions. What is a leek? Why grow potatoes? While they do, a family can be sustained with leek and potato soup in a way hard to find during a time of pre-cooked meals and convenience store restaurants.

Thinking and talking about potatoes is sublime as gardeners head toward dry ground and the weekend.

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