Growing Potatoes – For Mom, With Love

A Tribute To My Mother

Last week one of my best friend’s mother passed away after a long fight with cancer. Yesterday, towards the end of the service, filled with heartfelt memories of my friend’s mom,  we were all directed to go home and “kiss our moms”. It is only appropriate that this post is dedicated to my mother, who instilled in me the passion for gardening. This is how I kiss my mother, in the most personal and thankful way I know how.

Potatoes need lots of room and dirt to expand upwards in order to produce a high yield; as the plant grows, the shoots need the continued maintenance of piling more dirt on top to cover all but the top few leaves. The additional dirt creates a mound, and the bigger the mound becomes over time, the more potatoes you can expect to harvest. We have tried growing them in raised garden beds, and have been successful; however, the amount of potatoes we grew was limited by the lack of space we had to mound up more dirt. We also tried growing them in a large plastic pot, and though we ended up with more potatoes, it was difficult to find them all. We realized that we had left some behind, which ended up getting too old and rotting.

side by side

While browsing Pinterest, we came across this simple, yet ingenious idea: grow potatoes in a pot within a pot. As they grow, bury the vines so they continue to produce more potatoes. The inner container has large cutouts, which provides an easy way to harvest your potaoes without disturbing the potaoes compacted in the dirt above. We shared this idea with my mother, who loved the concept and went to work right away.

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My mother chose two storage totes, of similar size, and drilled holes in the bottom to ensure proper drainage. She then made the cutouts in the green tote, and stacked it inside the blue one. After covering the bottom with dirt, she added potatoes that were already sprouting.

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Mom covered the potatoes with dirt in a loose mound.20160103_144824

She added all natural plant food and fish emulsion to the soil. All that’s left to do now is add water and wait! I can’t wait to admire my mom’s hard work, and look forward to watching her grow an abundant amount of potatoes!

One Week Later!!!!

potato growth 1 week

As I sit back and think about what my mother means to me after my friend’s mother was laid to rest, I can’t help but feel glad. In my younger years I despised my Miller genes and the heritage I had through them. I wished that I was only related to my Grandmother Sadler. As I’ve matured I now realize that it takes two parts – attributes from both families – to make me….me.

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I love my Norwegian and Viking heritage, but the Miller side (my mom’s family) gave me gardening and my love for nature. My mother always embraced my emotional side, and encouraged me to be compassionate and to feel. My mother always supported me even when it was a detriment to her health and sanity. I’m not perfect, and sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me; but no matter what I’m going through, my mother is always there for me. Even though we often have very different viewpoints, we can always discuss our opinions, often with much humor, and then go into the backyard and admire each other’s gardens. When I think about all that my mother has taught me, and how I feel about her, I realize that I am truly blessed.

Here are some of the thoughts I’m ending today with:

  • When you come in contact with someone, you never know what is going on in their life. So practice random acts of kindness. It may save a life.
  • When you complain, someone listening might desperately desire what you’re complaining about.
  • You never know what your last words to someone will be. The tongue is the mightiest weapon.
  • Kiss your mother, she will not be here forever.
  • Today might be your last day on Earth. Make it count.

I love you mom.

4 Comments

  1. Jeni Hawkins

    Wonderful, touching, informative and heart-felt post! I love this!

    Reply
    1. Sarina Sadler

      Thank you!

      Reply
  2. Patricia Sadler

    I love you,Jonathan. As you know, some plants need to struggle through hard, rocky soil in order to produce strong roots that will support sturdy plants . It’s important that the soil be constantly tended, plowed through, nourished and watered so that an abundant and rich harvest may come forth. Only the Lord knows the perfect combination of warm summer breezes and harsh winter winds that will produce the sweetest fragrance and the highest quality growth in our gardens. You are a planting of the LORD -rich and fragrant. You have allowed the harsh winter winds to strengthen you. You have pushed through the stoney soil, going deep and deeper into difficult, untraveled territory until you found the softer, rich earth hidden from the more fragile. You have allowed pruning to enhance strength and productivity. Keep gardening my beloved son, harvest time is yet a long way away and we want to be a fragrant, abundant garden – beautiful in every way. With a loving and grateful heart, Mom.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Potato Race - Grow With Jon

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