Of Potatoes and Deer

Titles are difficult things. The one right above this article should make plain I am very poor with coming up with catchy titles. I simply thought to myself, what has been going on? Well, there’s been deer, and potatoes. Yeah, that will work. Whatever.

One of the reasons I wanted to move to Oregon was to get away from the world of concrete I’d been inhabiting for almost 30 years and turn into a pseudo-hermit in the middle of a forest surrounded with wildlife and plants. Also, I wanted to get away from the friggin’ heat. It’s supposed to get over 100°F next week. So much for that.

However, the wildlife part has happened. We have giant fluffy squirrels, ravens, stellar jays, the occasional raccoon, bobcat and of course, deer. Right now there is a doe with two fawns roaming about the area. She has finally deigned to allow another doe and a young male to join her. They were settled in a glade near my house yesterday having a little deer picnic. They also think my potato plants are tasty.

See how that works? Through great effort I managed to meld the two topics together. Okay, it didn’t really take that much work. But back to potatoes.

The growing season in the neck of the woods is limited at best. The chap down the street told me that potatoes and onions grow well, though. I immediately got some onion and potato starts and did a half-assed job of setting up a mini farm. In other words, I dug a shallow rut in the dirt and stuck my onions in and hoped for the best. The potatoes I planted in large seven gallon fabric bags. Once I added some decent soil they went gang busters. The onions…not so much. I finally got another bag and moved a few onions over to it. They’re looking a bit more impressive now, but my hopes of onions the size of my cat’s head seem unlikely to go fulfilled.

The giant plants that people keep mistaking for tomatoes are in truth the potato plants. One of them has some flowers. Shows how little I know—I didn’t realize they got flowers. The rest of the plants are in various stages of bushiness based on how many leaves the deer decided to nibble. I don’t mind sharing. The part I want is under the soil anyway. At least I hope it is. I might be growing giant tops and no actual root vegetables for all I know. I guess I’ll find out in another month or so. Should have bought the bags that have side flaps so I could peek at the goings one without disturbing the entire plant. I know, patience grasshopper.