For the last few weeks of what’s been a brutally long winter, this was what I saw when I opened my bottom cabinet: thronging vines springing toward the light they’d been seeking in the dark, on their own, whether I was there to open the door or not. These are last year’s potatoes, harvested but stored incorrectly in a rush of fall-semester teaching that never let up. Too much warmth, not enough dark. Too many intentions, not enough time. Too much cold. Too many Things in the Real World To Address. Meanwhile, potatoes and onions waited. Roots are patient, and they keep themselves alive. That’s their nature.
Yesterday, in time for Easter Sunday, these roots got resurrected. After a fresh load of compost/mulch from the yard waste site [thankfully someone with a Bobcat happened to be there to help me load; I’ve shoveled and unshoveled truckloads of mulch on my own but would prefer not to do so again] in the raised beds I built last year, I planted them. Emptied out on the surface of the fresh mulch, they were tadpole-shaped and curiously alive, each little spud with its long electric-purple tail. The white potatoes’ roots were shorter, toad-warty, toad-stumpy. But now, today, they are nested in ground and subject to a thorough, slow, rain that for the first time this year is springtime-cool, not cold. Time to see what they’ll become, now that they have their chance.