I think this about sums it up. On Thursday, I made this sugar sculpture vaguely relating to food and the natural world... today I worked with 3 others to plant ten 100 yard rows of potatoes somewhere in the hinterlands around Manor. My goal with the new blog is to document my journey from full time indoor, florescent lit pastry kitchen to outdoor, inclement weather open acreage.
DAY 1- Yesterday I made Spanakopita for my students and graded sugar sculptures, eclairs, and orange souffles. The very next day I found myself out with the sparse early season crew of the organic farm planting All Blue, Purple Viking, Yukon Gold, and Red fingerling Potatoes. I technically started the day at 4am by waking to the sound of hard rain coming down on the roof and being blown against the bedroom windows. I knew it was either going to be a no-go day or a super sloppy one. It turned out to be the latter.
We drove from their Manor Farm home base out to the new plot of land out east. The new plot is still in development with newly cleared fields, freshly plowed field, and a tall deer proof fence going up. Our job, drag a crate of potatoes out, plant sprout facing up, repeat 1,000 times. We followed the planting with a heaping handful of ground cotton seed meal spread through the trenches. What just took 20 seconds to type in the last two sentences took about 3 hours in real time. At this point, the normal procedure would be to drive the tractor through and cover the potatoes and be done. Thanks to the inches upon inches of mud, we covered all rows by hand with rakes.
What did I learn today?
- Let your potatoes sprout before planting
- Budgie Potatoes are apparently DELICIOUS, but IMPOSSIBLE to grow here
- Potatoes like Cottonseed Meal
- Mud will add a solid pound of weight to each foot and two pound to the end of your rake
- It is incredibly pleasant to be separated from your phone and any time source except the sun