One of the most fascinating small town museums we’ve visited was a potato museum we happened onto while traveling in Idaho. I don’t remember that much about details but it was fun and delightful. There was much about the history of potatoes, many varieties, the progress in potato harvesting equipment, the peoples who depended on growing them, exhibits on what can be done with potatoes, stories of potato growers, their joys and their sorrows. What I remember most is that potatoes are a mainstay for many people. But those who work with them have to be mighty persistent. Even then, as with poor Ireland, the best efforts may be rewarded with failure.
When Charles proposed planting a few sweet potato vines in our yard we didn’t realize how interesting it would be to watch this tiny crop develop. It’s nothing like the fields of potatoes in Idaho or Ireland, but it is still amazing.
One of the fun things to watch is the persistence of these vines that grow inches every day. They creep along, over, around, and even through any obstacle.
Charles pulled up unproductive lemon trees and planted the potatoes in their place between a marten house and a big pine. One of our old relics, a rusty round saw blade, is propped against that tree. The vines grew this way and that. They would have crept over the driveway if Charles hadn’t redirected them. They stretched behind the saw blade, wrapped around the pine tree, covered the area with lush leaves. Then one day we noticed it: a vine peering through the hole in the center of that saw blade making it look like a huge rusty face sticking out a green tongue. We had to laugh at the stubborn persistence of that potato vine.
The crop of potatoes is yet to be seen. But the lesson is strong: don’t let anything stop you from reaching for the light or from striving for your highest potential. Never, ever give up!
I can almost taste a sweet potato drooling with melted butter, even sprinkled with cinnamon! But until we dig them up, we’ll enjoy the very persistent vines.
Sweet potato, sweet potato,
Down in the soil
To bake or to boil.
Eat it with butter?
Bake some pies?