Thursday, November 10, 2011

Indie Travel - Earth

At what point in your travels have you felt most in tune with the Earth? Share a story of how you interacted with the local environment or nature.

Quite literally I was totally in tune with the earth digging up potatoes. Nitya had  grown them in a new way this year, and planted them late in the season. She didn't expect to have much of a crop. 

The end of the season in the garden.
Back in July she cut the bottoms out of several varieties of bucket: big 5 gallon paint buckets, cat litter buckets, and round plaster buckets. Then each was filled with compost and some potato eyes were planted about half way down. The idea is that in order to harvest all you have to do is  tip over the bucket and go through the soil looking for potatoes. In principle that's the way it worked, but I also found a number of potatoes growing right against the hard ground deeper than the bottom of the buckets. 

She had quite a crop! There were about 100 potatoes ranging from marble up to softball sized. She'd planted several varieties; a round red, Yukon Gold, and a thin-skinned white variety that resembles the Idaho baker. The smallest ones were eaten for lunch, roasted with garlic and some far-gone Brussels sprouts, in goose fat and coriander. They were heavenly. 

About 1/2 of the potato haul.
There were at least 25 of the buckets. After the potatoes had been picked out of the soil, they were put on a picnic table to dry in the sun. 

On hands and knees I was deep in that loamy soil. Everyone else left to tend the chickens and turkeys, so I was alone in the garden. It was still and quiet, the sun shone down from an angle, the air was cool, and there was a constant sound of light rain falling. So many trees, at the very end of their season, after several nights of cold, were dropping leaves by the millions. The soil was full of worms and moldy hickory nuts. Once in a while I would come across a stone that then got tossed over the fence. So engrossed, I remember coming aware of the enormity of it all, a large earth picture in one small scene, one pile of black dirt. For a moment, I couldn't remember where I was on the planet, or even why I was there. It was pure existence, for a few minutes, without thinking mind, simply alive. 

30 Days of Indie Travel