Searching For Words


| 9/12/2013 8:26:00 AM


Tags: sustainability, community, Bethann Weick, New Hampshire,

It was a cool morning, the sun slow to crest over the hill.  A quick harvest of zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, and beans left my hands chilled from the cold dew.  Sitting with our dog Mica on the rocks outside our door, I began thinking through the various tasks I wanted to complete that morning.  Most pressing on my garden list was harvesting potatoes.  Most pressing of my “other” to-dos was writing this column.

I often joke with friends and neighbors that at some point I’ll run out of things to say.  What will I write about?  Every few months I seem to run into a hiccup of sorts: what could I possibly turn into an article this week?  Certainly there’s no shortage of activity here at the homestead.  Projects abound, and the seasons reliably keep things changing week to week.  Still, not every passing detail can become pleasant reading.

So this morning I jotted down ideas, recent observations, and the latest homestead tasks.  Trying to weave the story I knew must be there, the paper before me remained more blank than full.  My best strategy in these moments, though, has always been: to work.  Work, and the words will come.  So I got out my buckets and garden fork and set about harvesting our red-skinned Pontiac potatoes. 

For some weeks now I’d been pulling handfuls of potatoes out of the ground for dinner, just from the edges of the rows, where they were easy to access without exposing other tubers.  Those had been decent in size, but nothing to brag about. I was ready to accept a mediocre harvest.

It was much to my surprise, therefore, when this morning I began pulling out jumbo ‘taters, so large I could easily balance no more than two or three in my hand at a time.  The crop was looking to be good after all.

Previously a potato bed. Photo by Bethann Weick




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