Monday, April 16, 2007

Tater Tots

Spring is finally making an attempt to spring, but it's not yet sprung. This weekend I took pictures of Tyke's spur-of-the-moment project, growing potatoes. It started out last spring, when we found a rogue potato that had sprouted beautifully in the kitchen cabinet. Tyke tended the thriving vines indoors until the weather was good and warm, then put it outside in a large flower pot, where the plant was very happy. By fall, the squirrels started vying for the pot. That gave us the cue that there were teeny taters underneath.

It was quite late in the season and, fearing their death by the coming frost, we uncovered the baby potatoes to bring them in for wintering over. They were the cutest little tater tots, between a half inch and an inch in diameter. I put them in one of our large unbreakable plastic cups and we set them on the kitchen counter beneath a window. We assailed all of our friends and the piano teacher and everyone else who came to the house: "Look at these!" I believe they all thought we were slightly nuts.

There they stayed until they felt the sun. Now . . . voila! They're making eyes at each other. Unfortunately, nighttime temperatures are still pretty low here, and we've been deluged by another Nor'easter storm, which threatens the state with floods. So it will be a little while before the little vines go out into substantially larger half-barrels, where this year they will be protected from squirrels and birds by both chicken wire and bird netting. We can't wait. Even if they don't yield any edible potatoes, we'll enjoy the vines. We'll also be starting our fifth annual crop of "Elf" sunflowers on the only windowsills in the house that receive sun.


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