Victory Garden

These weeks are starting to run into each other. There are small victories (I learned to knit!), and crushing blows (cancelling trips to visit friends). There is the agonizing uncertainty — will my son get to go to his beloved summer camp? Will we be able to run our summer camps? What does school look like next year?

For more small victories, I turn to my garden. I constantly marvel at how food grows from little seeds, surrounded by dirt. Now that the sun is warming the soil, I’m seeing little sprouts — today I saw the first cucumber sprout! I already have a few green tomatoes on my little plants.

I usually buy pretty little seed packs from 7 Day Nursery, and do my best to follow the directions. This year I’m taking on a few new challenges. Last year’s tomato plants were so abundant that I left mushy tomatoes in the garden….this year I have a few volunteers coming up. I’m going to see what happens with them! I’m also planting potatoes and sweet potatoes. This is a very interesting process. I planted the potatoes about two months ago, and I have a little crop that’s ready to harvest.

The way to plant potatoes is to cut up a potato that is beginning to sprout (from the eyes), and then plant chunks of potato in the ground. Each chunk produces about 6 little potatoes.

The sweet potato is a little different. I put little sweet potatoes in glasses of water and waited for they eyes to sprout slips — little green stems and leaves. Then I planted the slips in the ground. I’ve been doing this for about three weeks, and there seems to be no end to the slips growing on the sweet potatoes. I’m super excited to see what grows in my garden!

The victory gardens of the World War I and II era were planted at private residences to boost morale and take pressure off the public food supply. During our current period of isolation and social distancing, going to the garden is a more pleasant endeavor than a trip to the grocery store. And each little sprout, bud, leaf and vegetable is another little victory for me to celebrate.

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