Our main focus this week has been harvesting potatoes. Back in May we planted the potatoes, making small holes in the ground and dropping in seed potatoes cut to the size of a golf ball. These little pieces or potato sprout to form a plant and then many more potatoes below the ground. The rule of thumb is that you should yield about 10 lbs of potatoes for every pound that you plant. We grew ours under plastic mulch for weed control and this week we pulled the mulch up, drove a tractor implement through which stirs up the ground and then we crawled through on our hands and knees digging up the potatoes. There is a very simple machine, a potato harvester which will dig up the potatoes and lay them on the surface of the soil. We have been dreaming about owning one this week as we crawled through the potatoes, yet the time was well spent. As we pulled back the soil and placed the potatoes on the surface we began to discuss plans for the future, what kind of farm we want to have, what we have done well this season, what we would like to change. As we crawl along in the soil, watching the leaves slowly change colors and seeing the first geese make their way south, I found that while we would have spent less time with a fancy machine to do all the work, it is nice to have a good space for dreaming and it seems the potatoes are our dreaming space.
Potatoes as a dreaming space — that’s gorgeous and poetic.