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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - Planting Potatoes

~ Canadian organic seed potatoes ~
Do you like potatoes? Do you like Yukon Gold Potatoes? In the hopes the sun will shine again, I've readied twenty-five pounds of Yukon Gold seed potatoes for planting. Actually, the bag was fifty pounds but I shared with Daniel, our neighbor and "adopted" son. That's how we treat him and that's how we think of him. Daniel does the "heavy" work in our garden; the plowing, discing, tilling, etc. and he and I share the rest of the work. When I'm whining complaining talking to Dave about not being able to keep up with Daniel, Dave asks me, "How old is Daniel?" I say, "38". Dave asks, "How old are you?" "58," I grimace. Not because of my age, I love my age and will, gratefully, take any birthday anyone else doesn't want. I grimace because while it's true, almost, I can do anything I used to be able to do, it's also true it takes me about three or four times as long to do it, on a good day. sigh
~ seed potatoes with eyes ~
In USA, or UUUUsssaaaa, said long and drawn out, as we're called in some parts of the world we've traveled, Lewis Grizzard, deceased as of 1994, was a prolific Southern writer. Every time I see a potato, I think of his book, Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes.  He was as Southern as Southern could be and, some time prior to getting started as a writer, he was called "too southern". He replied "Why, that's an oxymoron. There's no such thing as being too southern."  Amen!

I'm a "southern by birth but a Virginian by the grace of God" and, for most of my life, have lived south of the Mason Dixon line. It always, but always, amuses me when Maryland and West Virginia both claim to be southern states. Last I heard, both of them managed to get themselves counted with the Yankees, north of the Mason Dixon line, during the Late Great Unpleasantness or, as some called it, the War of Northern Aggression. Probably, I should stop here as Dave is a Yankee, born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia, however, I don't hold it against him as he had the influence of a fine Southern Gentleman, his Grandfather.

Anyway, Mr. Grizzard was a humorist and always makes me laugh although it helps I've a childish sense of humor. I find it unfortunate some people have to laugh at the expense of others or by using foul language, etc. I'm grateful I can find pleasure, joy and laughter in simple things. Least you think I'm a total cretin, I have done some interesting things. A few years ago, I taught in Russia and, prior to leaving Moscow, I reported to the Ambassador's Aid of the US Embassy Moscow. I mean, I do know which fork to use, for goodness sakes! -LOL-

And what does any of that have to do with planting potatoes??? Geeze Louise, I sure can stroll and wander!
~ potato with several eyes ~
Potatoes must be cut into sections and each section needs to have an eye. In the best case, the potatoes should have a few days to dry out a bit before planting them into the ground.
~ cutting potatoes ~
This potato will be cut into several pieces, at least three and each section needs to have an eye in order for the plant to grow. We've had rain, rain and more rain so no photos of planting potatoes; those come, hopefully, later.

Gorta Mor happened well after my Daddy's Mothers' people left Ireland, about one hundred years after,  but all over the world, people still talk about The Irish Potato Famine where one million people died and another million left the country. About one-third of the Irish population was dependent upon the potato and when Phytophthora infestans, an oomycete, caused late blight or potato blight, people starved to death. Ireland's population dropped between twenty and twenty-five percent; it boggles the mind!

Yes, as a matter of fact I do sleep like a baby...when I remember to take my aspirin or Ibuprofen, my "recreational drugs of choice" -LOL-. Yes, I do work hard and, yes, I do love my life, including the work. Someone said success is living the life you want to live so that means I'm among the most successful people I know. Thank God! It gives me enormous pleasure to be responsible for my own food, from seed to table, and it pleases me to stock a pantry full of canned goods, dried goods, frozen goods as well as the cellar full of root vegetables. It pleases me greatly to put a meal on the table, to serve loved ones, with food that I know is pure and clean. 

Dave and I are having a picnic next month and the guest list is, currently, around 80. It's a "bring a dish to share" affair and I'm sure the food will be fabulous! We'll have lots of home made food, we'll churn ice cream, pitch horse shoes, drink sweet ice tea...another Southern tradition!...and make memories against the cold winds of winter. Food isn't just for the body, it's for the soul and we're doing our best to "live large" in the midst of "new normals". Yes, it's difficult but, glory be to God, it's SO worth the effort. You're invited; are you coming and what will you bring?

Blessings ~ seeds ~ plants ~ food ~ gardens ~ pantry ~ freezers ~ refrigerators ~ cellar ~


  1. Oh, a picnic party, what fun, Sandra. Never know where I will show up ... 'I brought you a gift", are my favorite words!!

    Yup! about 100 years ago our family came over from Ireland ... we planted potatoes in g'ma Maggie's garden & Mother's garden. I canned hundreds of jars of food for my family to enjoy over the winter months. Nothing like fresh canned potatoe fried on a cold winter morn.

    Love where you wandered thru the south ... I am strictly a Southerner by marriage ... happily so.

    Always a delight to visit with you, sweet friend. Hope Dave is doing better.

    Have a beautiful eve ~
    TTFN ~

  2. Hello Sandra and Dave:
    And what fun it is that you did digress away from potatoes for we should not otherwise have had the briefest of glimpses into a life spent, at least for a while, in Moscow!!

    But, to come back to earth, literally now, we too used for years to grow our own potatoes and there is nothing nicer than eating those which have been dug from the ground that day.

  3. Love the sound of it... I'm bringing my watermelon Limeade and caprese salad...

  4. Oh, so wish I could go to the picnic; I'd bring peach cobbler. And, I've been thinking about homemade ice cream a lot lately. Especially the first time I remember someone making it. I was about 4 or 5; it was delish!!!

    Have a wonderful day,Sandra!! Always enjoy your posts!!

  5. I used to grow the best potatoes when I lived in West Texas - lots of sandy soil which would grow anything if you watered it. Gave up on most root crops here (I am trying things in containers but not potatoes yet). Let's see - we'd no doubt bring chocolate sheet cake - Oh and pea salad! I make a good cake and I love pea salad! Thanks for the invite (don't I wish our lives were such that we could ever travel again - those days are long gone)

  6. That picnic sounds like fun, with so many southerners around it is bound to be entertaining too!

    I do like the way you can stroll and wander around a topic and potatoes ( much as i personally dislike to eat them) are a good topic to bounce off.

    I hear ya about taking more time to do things now-a-days. I myself am very sore all over from all my work today and think aspirin will be my choice of sleep aid later.I am not sure when my every day chores and activities became also the source of my night time pain, but like you, I am happy to still be able to do so much and enjoy the life God has blessed me with, being able to do so many of the things I love.Happy planting, and make sure those potatoes don't catch a glimpse of you bending over.

  7. Hi Sandra, So nice to catch up with you this morning. Yes, I love potatoes and your picnic sounds like great fun and fellowship. Keeping you both close in my heart and prayers.

  8. Wish I lived closer so I could attend the party!

    Now you've made me want to plant potatoes! It's just been so very wet that I still haven't planted very many things.

  9. Well, you know I will be there in spirit! How I wish I could be there in body!!!!!!
    Love Lewis Grizard! I lived in north Ga. all during the 90's and always read his daily column in the AJC. He was in the hospital, very ill, when he and his longtime love tied the knot! All the news outlets covered it like it was the Royal Wedding! It garnered much attention, and we Georgians loved it :)

    Hoping your next post is about living in Russia-my dream!

    Love to you, Dave, and all the critters!
    xo, misha

  10. What a fun sounding picnic. Hmmm if I could sneak in I think I'd bring a flourless chocolate cake - soooooooo good and rich. And how about cornbread salad? That's about as Southern as you can get LOL Big hugs to you!

  11. I will miss planting my potatoes this year. I love digging up fresh potatoes and cooking them. they are so good. I am glad to hear we are all getting along a bit slower these days, I was begining to think it was only me.I wish I could visit the picnic I have some good picnic foods to bring and I love potlucks. Have fun!

  12. Dear Sandra--
    I know all about planting potatos- learned it from my Papaw so so many years ago--

    How wonderful that you are having a picnic party- a chance to visit with your friends and give thanks for your blessings. I am so glad that Dave is doing well--

  13. wishing I could join or even be invited - Hi - new to your blog and lovong it -- O how I want my farm already -- you are helping me to recall a lot because I grew-up on a farm - and what it take to have a farm - missng the life myself.. anyway enjoying your blog - I'll be back..

  14. Enjoying your blog very much; can't wait to see how the picnic goes! Lots of photos please!


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