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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes.When your Food on Fridayscontribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually.Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun!
Food on Fridays with Ann
In the spring, at planting time, I was coughing, weakened by bronchitis and asthma. Unmotivated, I had no vision for a garden, no energy, yet the Belgian Wonder proceeded to turn and till the soil, raking it level. He led me out to see it flat and prepped, ready for seedlings to be tucked in and take root.
It sat like that, waiting. For weeks.
I drove past the local nurseries now and then, and Lowes Garden Center, thinking I should pick up some plants. Then I’d drive on past, too tired to make decisions.
Finally, I felt a little better. Well into the growing season, I decided to buy some seedlings—no time for seeds.
Lowes offered a meager selection. I couldn’t even find a zucchini plant. I purchased a few scraggly tomato plants that had outgrown their biodegradable pots, one pumpkin, cucumbers and some peppers. Impulsively, I grabbed a flat of cheap sweet potato plants.
I’d never grown sweet potatoes, though I love to eat them.
I didn’t know how to plant them, and because I was still coughing, weak and unmotivated, I didn’t bother to research online. Instead, I just stuck them in the ground.
As summer warmed up, the sweet potato vines slithered through the jungle of weeds that I let engulf my measly garden. I wasn’t sure how long to wait before digging and discovering, so I just left them there. I kind of forgot about them. Late in the season, I picked the few tomatoes that appeared on my neglected tomato plants and plucked some green and yellow peppers that survived the drought.
The sweet potatoes seemed lost, so low to the ground as fox tails and thistles towered over them. I expected nothing.
Not long ago, I was pulling weeds and revealed the sweet potato vines, still green and vibrant. I started to tug, and they led me back to their beginnings, to the spots where I had stuck them in the earth.
One of my daughters was wandering around the yard sucking on a popsicle.
“Could you bring me a spade?”
Silently, all summer, they had been forming in the dark, underground, even when the vines above had little light or moisture.
I dug down again and again, learning the feel of the soil when it held a treasure.
As I unearthed them in clumps, I felt so humbled that they would have managed to produce when I had done so little.
Walking inside with my plastic Target bag loaded down, I felt rich.
Credits: Sweet potato photos by Ann Kroeker.