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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Desire Not to be Wasteful

My wife and I like potatoes, so when we see a five-pound bag on sale for a good price, we sometimes pick one up.  However, by the time we get down to the last three or four in the bag, we usually find green shoots protruding from the brown skins.  Often we can remove these, and eat what’s left.  But one day back in January, my wife decided to plant a couple potatoes that had started growing in a raised bed out back and just see what happened.

Saturday, while I was working on “Ashley Jackson: Staying True to Your Muse,” my wife walked in through the back door, and I heard water running in the kitchen.  When I finished writing, I found freshly washed potatoes drying on a towel on the counter.  She told me that she had dug up four pounds of potatoes from the raised bed we grow our squash and gourds in.  After talking with her awhile, I realized that all these had come from one plant, and that more such plants still grew out there. 

That Saturday, we had potatoes
with lunch and dinner.

To most people this may seem terribly ordinary, but we’ve had decreasing luck in recent years with our vegetables, and consequently lessened our gardening efforts.  Part of this may be due to the weather, as for the last few summers, it’s been cool and cloudy when we needed hot days of full sun.  In any case, we’ve never had great luck with potatoes.  But this year, for whatever reason, we reaped four pounds of potatoes from one that would have necessitated major surgery to salvage something edible. 

So often we invest money, time, and energy on people, projects, and groups, and our efforts seem to go unappreciated and unused.  In this case, my wife had no big hopes for those potatoes.  It’s not like she prepared their own bed and carefully tended them.  She merely threw them in with her other efforts, and they thrived on what water and nutrients she would have dispensed to the other plants.  It’s nice to be reminded that not every success necessitates careful planning, and that projects in which one invests little can still reap much.  Occasionally, it’s nice to savor a victory born not of great dreams, but merely from a desire not to be wasteful. 

Grateful to Mother Nature,
Dragon Dave

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