Potatoes, Peanuts, and Pippin

Patriotic potatoes 2015Well, the potatoes were a disappointment. Not because I didn’t get any. I actually harvested about the same amount as last year, but this year, I expected more.

Unmet expectations have wreaked havoc on my normally ebullient, Pollyanna optimism. What last year I considered an abundant harvest, this year I consider to be the Great Russo Potato Famine of 2015.

I planted them in these magic boxes that were designed to give me more potatoes than I could shake a stick at.

BLOG July 19 May potato bins of hope

Potatoes June 2015

BLOG July 19 potato plants from the side

What I got were the same amount of potatoes I’ve always yielded, but with longer stems. I imagined walking up and down my street overloaded with potatoes and handing them out to all my neighbors like it was Christmas in July. Instead, I’ve had to be stingy and keep my little darlings to myself, slamming doors shut and yanking down shades when neighbors walk by, lest they covet what few potatoes I’ve been able to harvest.

To overcome this toxicity of spirit, I have transferred all my hopes and dreams to these guys, my little peanuts:

BLOG July 19 peanuts

They are literally my peanuts.

I bought the seeds at the Flower Show in February, back when Snowmageddon covered the land. I paid for the peanuts with hope in my heart and faith in the words of the seed-seller: Peanuts can grow in New England.

Pippin on deck 2Pippin ate most of them on a cold day in spring when I left them unattended high on a shelf where I thought they’d be safe from her ravenous fatness, but luckily, she spared a few, and I planted them when the ground thawed.

I have hope that my peanuts will bring me out of the toxic despair triggered by the Great Russo Potato Famine of 2015. The only thing that cures the hopelessness of unmet expectations is the triumph of exceeding low expectations.  Sure, the lady told me peanuts can grow in New England, but no one really believes it. If it turns out to be true, all faith in gardening will be restored to me. If not, well, I just can’t even . . .

BLOG July 19 MarigoldIt’s this guy that brings me my wobbly faith. This is the marigold voted Least Likely to Succeed. He was a straggly little thing, overwhelmed by his robust marigold brethren, but I planted him anyway, and to my delight, he actually bloomed. Sigh. Go, little marigold, go.

Side note: Twinky Winky, the persecuted purple potato plant was, unexpectedly, the most prolific. So, maybe there is hope for the peanuts.

BLOG July 19 potatoes in the pan


Author: kristinrusso

Writer, teacher, insatiable reader

7 thoughts on “Potatoes, Peanuts, and Pippin”

  1. Good luck with the peanuts. It’s been the great vegetable famine here, not just potatoes! We had a very cool Spring, everything suffered, and just when it was starting to pick up, the molluscs moved in. Hey ho.. next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had a strong pea turn-out, but our tomatoes are sluggish and the peppers? Forget it. They are not showing up this year, at all. And you’re right, the beauty of gardening is that there’s always next year!


  2. I don’t think it’s anything you did, or didn’t do, not to have exceeded last year’s potato crop. Experienced farmers (not that you’re not one) have good crop years and not so good crop years.
    I’m glad to see the picture of your peanut plant so I know what one looks like. I didn’t discover my peanut packet until a few weeks ago when I emptied out a bag, still with school stuff in it. I thought it might be too late to plant peanuts, but I planted them, anyway, only covering them with a little bit of soil, that watering washed away. I never had much hope for a peanut crop. Actually, I thought the ground hog had broken open and eaten them all, but one sprouted and the leaves look just like your peanut plant leaves. Maybe we can start selling peanuts at Ben’s baseball games.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha ha ha. So sorry, Kristin. I’m in Idaho where the potato plants are in full bloom and gorgeous. We will soon have many and we’re happy to share! Thanks for the cute post. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

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