http://www.perlandra-ltd.comIf you've been following along with my blog, you'll realize I seem to have a bit of a relationship with my potato patch. It is one of my few gardening attempts but I find I'm learning an awful lot from this experience,. Some of it is not unlike some of the Perelandra Gardening experiences Michaelle Small-Wright talks about in her books and on her website
My particular patch has been a very enjoyable experience. It started out with multiple wheelbarrows of horse manure. To this we added a pile of seaweed. Last year I planted a few potatoes. This year we added more manure, hauled way more seaweed from the beach (on a very cold and rainy day), and planted a lot of potatoes! The potatoes this year were carefully chosen. I bought organic seed potatoes in a number of different varieties and planted with intention. I planted "late" potatoes at the back and "early" potatoes in the front and even drew a map for myself so I would know which kind was where.
Unlike some other things in life, it seems once I had planted my potatoes with intention, I was really good at "letting it go". I admired my potatoes every day- don't get me wrong. And I talked to the potato plants as they grew. I didn't weed them, hoe the rows, or do anything else to them. It just didn't feel right, and to be honest I wasn't really sure what was potato plant and what was weed, so I decided not to got there. Plus, when you've planted them in seaweed you get some pretty freaky looking pieces of seaweed here and there that are definitely best left alone! The potato patch has lots of visitors and a few residents. A Chipmunk seemed to call it home for the first while. I embraced the snake that suns herself on the rocks beside the peonie that grows in the middle http://pixiedusthealing.blogspot.com/2011/07/animal-signs-snake.html. There are often toads in there. I let the deer graze the outside edge of the patch. I didn't put up any fences, scarecrows or borders. I never watered the patch. I didn't put any fertilizer down (unless you consider multiple wheelbarrows of horse manure fertilizer), and I never removed a bug.
I loved watching them grow. But now it's almost the end of summer and I can see a potato or two poking up to the surface, and I realize I'm going to have to dig those potatoes. This, I have a problem with. It just never really seems like the right time. What if I pulled them before they were ready. Maybe they would go rotten before spring if I put them in storage already. But the biggest thing that was holding me back from harvesting, was the thought that maybe if I left them just a bit longer, they would grow bigger or there would be more of them. Happy to put in the labor to plant, I was afraid of reaping the rewards, or at least of reaping the rewards too soon. Hmm...
I didn't think about it today. It just seemed right and I pretty much "found" myself out there in the potato patch digging up the first row of early potatoes. They are incredible! They are called "All Red" and are true to their word. They are the most beautiful color of red imaginable and the reddish color extends into the core- not just on the outside. Almost all of them are pretty big potatoes and from that first row alone I probably have enough potatoes to feed our family for the winter! The patch looks better since I dug up that row. Now there is a nice layer of sandy rich soil in the front. The peonie almost sighed her contentment to have a bit more room to catch the sun, and I discovered a very healthy wild rose bush growing in there.
Interestingly, the first row of early potatoes were red. Red is the color that resonates with the Root or First Chakra. Not only that, the first chakra deals with survival issues and a sense of security. That strikes me as pretty appropriate. Maybe now that I have enough red potatoes to get through the winter, I can feel more safe and secure about the rest of that potato patch!
Perhaps in a past life I went through the potato famine or something! Maybe that experience is planted in my genetic code, but whatever the reason, it feels really good to me to have a supply of potatoes and it seems to satisfy my root chakra. One of the Bach Flower essences that resonates with the Root Chakra is Sweet Chestnut. It's indicated for that mental anguish that comes with really having a shattered sense of security or home base. The positive aspect of Sweet Chestnut is a restoration in the faith of a higher power and a sense of inner support. It's about trusting that what you need will be provided to you.
There is a lot of talk, books, and advice out there on creating abundance. Some of it strikes a bad cord in me because, I think in many circles, abundance has come to mean money, fortune, and get rich marketing schemes. True abundance, to me, is the experience of having a bunch of red potatoes offered to me after putting in just a bit of intention. The lesson for me, and perhaps for others, is to accept this abundance. It's about digging your potatoes when they are ready, instead of hoping that they will become bigger or more will grow. It's about recognizing when you have been given a gift you should accept, trusting that there are three more rows of equally awesome potatoes that will be ready when you need them.
In the meantime, if anyone has 101 Recipes for Potatoes, I could probably use them. I've got a lot of abundance!