I have a potato plant on my bathroom counter.
It’s not that I wanted to grow potatoes, really, it’s just that I bought a 4-pack of potatoes and never got a chance to eat them before they sprouted. Throwing out uneaten food in the middle of winter was just more than I could bear that day. So I put the potatoes in water and let them grow.
Then I went out of town and the water evaporated and I had to start again, but one of the potatoes rewarded me with green shoots and long white roots. It rained every day for a week and cleared away the snow, so I went outside and found a left over pot from summer, with a bit of leftover soil. It was woefully undersized for growing potatoes, but I wasn’t going to go buy a bag of topsoil in the middle of February—heck, I barely left the house if at all possible—and the ground had frozen again and although I took a bowl outside and tried to fill it with dirt the ground was too hard and I was too unwilling.
So I lined the pot with a plastic bag—and yes, I know this isn’t good for drainage and I’m risking root rot, but let’s be honest, I’m not that great at remembering to water plants anyway. I figure this way I can easily pull the bag out once the dirt thaws and plant my potato plant in a hole in the garden and keep all its underground bits together. Although I have a larger pot at the ready the truth is that I don’t really have a place for a larger pot in my house, not one that’s near light and away from radiators. If I can nurture this plant-creature until spring it can go to its forever home the minute the ground thaws.
It’s not much. It’s just a sprouted potato in a bag in a pot on my bathroom counter. But it’s more than that. It’s an appreciation of what I meant to get around to and didn’t, and how I had to make something worthy come from my neglect. And it’s a reminder that spring will come, and when it does, and my potato and I will be ready.
Copyright © 2019 Lara Lillibridge
Public domain imagery courtesy of Snappygoat.com