Good morning and I pray you are having a great day. I have my coffee and have had my smoothie for breakfast and ready to talk to ya'll. I hope it rains today for our farmers are needing some water. They are getting ready for spring planting and the plowing has begun. We rode over to Nashville, GA yesterday and saw fresh plowed ground and tractors plowing. It is so dry that a cloud of dust was all around the tractor. Now I sure would hate to see them when they got off that tractor with all that dust on them. All you would be able to see was teeth and eyeballs as mama used to say.
We were with daddy a while yesterday and even with his dementia he was wanting to plant potatoes. If you have had this wonderful experience, I know you are just waiting to do it again. Daddy would buy a big brown sack of "seed potatoes" to plant. You couldn't eat these for they were treated with a chemical powder to keep them pest free, mainly ants, I think. We would cut them into chunks making sure there were 1 or 2 eyes on each chunk. Bet you didn't know that "taters" had eyes did you? This is where Lewis Grizzard got the name of his book about not bending over in the garden for them taters have eyes. The eye is the spot where the potato will sprout and grow another plant. These are the little things that sprout if you keep them too long and if they actually sprout and you don't cut them off before cooking, they are poisonous if eaten. Of course, any sane person would cut these off anyway, I would think. I do realize there are some not-sane people walking around, bless their hearts.
While you were cutting these potatoes, you would get slightly dirty, but as you planted them and covered them with dirt, you got a lot dirty. We didn't really mind though for it is about this time of the year when we could begin to go bare footed and wear shorts. That cool, fresh-plowed ground would feel so good under our feet and even though it would turn quite cool at night, we loved wearing the shorts. Now for Arvin and Sam, this also meant going without a shirt for they were little "almost nudist" and didn't like to wear a lot of clothes. You remember that they didn't wear shoes year around except to church and special occasions so the bare foot deal wasn't that important to them. It was to me who loved to kick off the shoes and feel the bare dirt with my toes.
These potatoes would taste so good when we dug the first little ones and mama would cook them with milk gravy or in with the fresh English peas. That was "slap yo mama" for another helping good. Now you know for sure this is just an expression, for if we had every followed through with this action, we would have no behind left to sit on. Just say it was delicious and we would partake heartily. Mama was a GOOD cook and we enjoyed sitting down at that table. Daddy was a great gardener and mama was a great cook and we were great eaters!
By this time of the year we would also have fresh English peas, radishes, turnip greens and mustard. We always had beef we had raised, chickens, lots of eggs and milk so we ate like queens and kings or good Southern farmers. We always liked it when we had too many eggs and mama would make egg custard pies. These were scrumptious and we could finish one off at dinner. Remember, dinner was lunch and then we had supper at night. I just have to keep educating you folks about the South, but that's alright. I feel it's my privilege to help you become more cultured and Southern, which by the way, are the same, right?
Spring also meant planting lots of other seeds, including mama's flowers. She always started from seeds and we would have petunias, marigolds, snapdragons, and many others. Daddy left the flowers to mama for he would say, "It you can't eat it, why plant it." It is amazing that he could grow all this food, mama would cook it, he would eat like a horse, and still be thin. Meanwhile mama could look at it and gain 10 pounds. Now I'm like that and it just isn't fair. Could be he worked it off planting all that good food. He still eats like a horse and doesn't gain any weight. Where are those genes when I need them?
I hope you are enjoying the beauty of a plowed field if you live in the country. There are beautiful patterns in a plowed field and a multitude of shades of brown, red, black and tan colors. Remember this is God's gift to us and it is fertile and ready to plant with seeds that will grow and feed us and the world. It takes lots of hard work but I am so thankful there are men and women who love to farm. Love them and support them for we would be hungry without them.
The Georgia Peach