Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sweet Potato Planting

Spring is a busy time of year, as any gardener will attest. We've been up to our eyeballs at the farm getting crops in, weeding, tying tomatoes and eggplants, planting companion plants, weeding, preparing fields, weeding, not to mention harvesting...oh, and weeding.

Today the sweet potatoes go in, which will be my second year planting them. Last year at this time, I'd never even seen a sweet potato slip before much less planted them. Preparing the field was one of the first jobs I was allowed to do alone, and I took great pains to make sure I did everything just right. I wanted to remember everything Takashi-san had told me, and I wanted the farmers to feel like they could rely on me.

I felt the same while planting the slips. I wanted to remember everything Takashi-san said, do it just right, and be efficient. It was a perfect, perfect spring day with so much sunshine that the slips looked quite tired in the field by the time I finished. We set up a watering system, which took a little tinkering to get it just right. (The year before they'd watered the whole field by hand.) Surprisingly, sweet potatoes only need water to happily grow. No additional manure or compost. Another reason to adore vegetables!

I'll be posting photos of the day's activities a bit later to share the process. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty this morning!


Anjuli said...

I look forward to the pictures- love the fact they only need water!

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Hope the photos help a bit. We didn't get a chance to photograph the actual planting (dirt + camera = bad idea), but hope the description gives a basic idea of how we did it. Let me know!