The old ways and planting potatoes in February.

Ivan was born three hundred yards behind where he lives today. The road is named Clarence Lee Rd, after his father. His family home was one of the first two in Morgan County, but it has long since burned down. That’s ok because it didn’t have running water. Ivan didn’t live in a home with running water until after he returned from the war.

Ivan’s father, Clarence was a good man – an even better father.

I am learning to keep bees from Ivan, so we have lot’s of time for stories as we assemble hives and frames in his cozy workshop. It is here that I am learning about bees and “old ways” of doing things.

Ivan said his father always planted potatoes in February.

February? Really? When?

Well, when the weather dried out for a few days. Then they would have new potatoes to eat in early spring.

Huh. I have potatoes that are sprouting. Let’s give this a try.

So, I did.

We cleared the weeds remaining in the garden from last fall, piled them in a 12 foot low point in the garden and burned them. I then added some compost, placed my potatoes on top, and covered with more compost. Finally, a layer of broken down straw that the chickens have been working over.

Will we have potatoes in the spring? I have no idea. But I have nothing to lose. All the materials were on the farm and the potatoes I planted were inedible. The only thing it cost me was time.

Here’s to learning the “old ways” and giving them a try.

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