Two Year Old Potatoes
My fingers sift the fall chill soil and grub out a 2 year old treasure. Forgotten potatoes.
Two seasons ago I planted a row of potatoes in the fringe of orchard that borders the brook that flows through our homestead. The year I planted them I failed to harvest them. The following year – this year – I rode away on mules Brick and Cracker for the summer.
Just at the fescue grass eventually crowded out the potatoes, the memory of their living underground faded from my brain. New events pushed out harvest plans.
I married Julia. I rode my mules Brick and Cracker from North Carolina to Idaho. Last week my family – critters, dog, pony and mules – were finally re-united on our farm.
This first thing I did upon my return was mow the orchard/ forgotten potato patch. I turned up a single tuber with the bush hog deck. That triggered the memory that twitched my feet to go to the tool shed and grab the shovel out of that dark corner where the digging tools cower.
It wasn’t a big haul. Red russet potatoes aren’t an invasive species in western North Carolina. But they have a will to live more than a single season.
And that’s how I came to stand on a creek bank on a dark day holding a handful of 2 year old potatoes.
Life goes on living even when we’re not watching. Tonight Julia and I will cook our found feast in our old black skillet. Probably top the spuds with wild chive and mint from the horse pasture, a mouth watering memory from a recent ramble with Julia.
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