Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Urban Farming (Jeremy)
I don’t know why I buy potatoes. Maybe it’s because of the number of people that the potato pile in the grocery store seems to attract - “I’ve got to get in on that.” Maybe it’s barbaric optimism - “If we have potatoes, we will cook them.” Whatever the reason, most potatoes in our home do not find their way to our plates. Instead, they linger and, eventually, blossom. One afternoon, Claudinho, inspired by the sudden vitality of these fruit stand fixtures, decided to plant one in a pot on our veranda – a new spin on “if life gives you a lemon…” He gathered the soil from the pots of other dead plants (sorry, Camilla) in the largest pot available along with the budding potato. Through faithful watering and care, the potato became a plant in its own sort of way. From that day on, black beans, carrots and other vegetables began disappearing from our pantry shelves, cups came up missing, and the veranda sprang to life in a “Rudolf misfit toys” kind of way. But for all its variety, this garden was rather plain. First off, these growths all looked more like vines than plants. They also were very quick to sprout and quick to die if placed in the sunlight. Finally, none of them produced anything. I think Claudinho wanted to stockpile food in case things went Y2k on us. But when he realized that there was nothing much to these plants, he stopped watering them. They were a novelty that had had their day; now, nothing more than wilted nostalgia.