I thought we were finished, or nearly so anyway. Every brown patch of dirt was filled with something, although a lot of the somethings are still in my imagination. We don’t usually plant the beans and tomatoes and other tender vegetables until June first but with temperatures in the 90’s, we put even those things out this week. Then, what should arrive but a box of 50 sweet potato slips.
I tried to plant some last year but I didn’t use slips, just some sprouting sweets that I had in the kitchen. The results were pathetic; Too bad because we love sweet potatoes and eat a lot of them. They are, in fact, the only vegetable I buy all winter. So I ordered 50 slips this spring and then found I had no place to put them.
Bruce, bless him, in spite of the heat, found a spot down by the bees, rototilled it and hilled it up for me. Planting the sweet potatoes was easy. I used a stick to poke a hole in the mound, tucked the slip in and filled the hole with water. I tamped down the soil and went on to the next one. It only took about 45 minutes and I now have the prospect of a year’s worth of our favorite vegetable stored int the root cellar.
I had such an interesting experience while planting. We live in the very wet Northeast and water is never a problem for us. It is so wet that I know of more than one house with a stream running through the basement. I had to carry a heavy, 3 gallon water bucket with me to plant the sweet potatoes. I would pour water into a cup, then pour from the cup into each planting hole. I had just about enough water to get through the entire planting without running back to the house for a refill. At one point I knocked over the cup and spilled about a 1/2 cup of water on the ground. I was really upset. Only when I was facing an actual, albeit temporary and easily addressed shortage, did I truly appreciate and conserve this resource. I think that is human nature. When we have an abundance, we tend not to conserve because our imaginations can’t picture it disappearing. I suppose that’s why so few people prepare. Even with a future filled with challenges, we believe what is will always be.
In the face of this uncertain future, people still do extraordinary things. We are off to town today to attend the adoption of a 12 year girl by my sister and her husband. To enlarge one’s family is always an act of faith but more so when you do it though the adoption of a child who has spent many years in foster care. This is my sister’s fourth adoption so she knows the challenges ahead but faces them with joy and optimism. I hope for as much grace for myself.