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Digging for buried treasure

By Penny Stine

Believe it or not, potatoes are fun to grow. And even more fun to dig up at the end of the season.

You stick a cutting off a seed potato in the ground in early summer, try not to get too impatient when the leaves start to grow and spread and eventually dig it up at the end of the season in search of tasty little potatoes.


The little ones are tasty, but I can’t help but get excited over the really big honkers. The first year I planted potatoes, I ended up with potatoes that were bigger than footballs. And there were a boatload of potatoes under every plant. I wish I knew what I did to make them grow so well, because every year since then (including this year) has just been OK.




I suspect that the tomatillos that seeded themselves all over my garden crowded out the potatoes.





Then again, it could have been the cosmos...




My potato plants themselves didn’t seem to thrive at all this year, and most of them died (or at least looked like they died) long before I dug them up.


Shows how much I know... That’s one way you know it’s time to dig for potatoes. Good thing I didn’t forget where I’d planted them, because some not only died, but practically disappeared before I got around to digging them.




But even in an OK year, it's still fun to dig for potatoes. Don’t ask me why digging potatoes creates these feelings of anticipation and surprise. It truly makes no sense. I planted potatoes. I should expect to dig up potatoes. It’s not like I’m discovering  some long-lost pirate booty full of gold and diamonds in place of the red potatoes or Yukon golds. They’re potatoes, for cryin’ out loud, not priceless treasure.


But oh, so fun to dig.


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