So close. So very close. The German butterball, the Kennebec, the reds, and the blue golds--all in the ground. Just the La Rattes and the French fingerlings remain to be planted.
Now, I should stop here and let you know that I did not realize what a hundred pounds of seed potatoes meant when I ordered them. I just thought, "Hey! Look at how much CHEAPER they are when you buy the 20-pound bag!" I kinda sorta did the math, but not really. I was in a spud-glutton stupor, thinking about how much I LOVE those butterballs all mashed up with butter and cream and garlic.
I didn't even consider that (barring blight and beetle destruction) I'd be looking at many hundreds of pounds of potatoes in the fall. And I didn't think about the many thousands of square feet I'd be tilling to get there.
And I didn't dream, even for a minute, that my trusty BCS would crap out on me RIGHT before I was ready to drop the fingerlings in the ground. Damnit.
I made the executive decision, and not lightly, last fall to send my little team of handy steers to the freezer. I just didn't have time to work them. How useful could they really be, after all? They're just going to be sitting around eating me out of barn and home. Right? Damnit.
Now, I don't have a lot of draft animal equipment hanging around, but I do have a spike harrow leaning up against the barn. You know how you use it? You just drag it. Rather, a big strong animal drags it. That's it. No pistons to seize up. No gears, no oil, no gasoline lines to get clogged. You just drag it.
And that's what I was thinking about when I read this article in the NYT the other day:
But I also thought, "Aaaack! I'll think about that another day. I have internal combustion working for me!" Damnit.
Now I'm kind of thinking that David Fisher over at Natural Roots CSA in Conway pretty much has it right. Animals may be temperamental. They may be stubborn. But EVENTUALLY they'll deign to pull whatever it is that needs to get from point A to point B, even if you have to seduce them with oats to get 'em to do it.
I can try dangling a gas can of 93 octane in front of my tiller all I want, but it's just gonna sit there in the field while I've got 20 pounds of seed potatoes left to plant.