ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!
How are you liking this purty weather we've been having here lately? I think I like the spring of the year better'n any other season. 'Cept for maybe one thing. If you live out in the country like me and my mule Rosebud does, you've got to get out and work in your garden. And even that wouldn't be too awful bad if it wasn't for them Arsh taters. I hate tater plantin' worser'n anything.
And I don't know what there is that bothers me. It ain't like it's all that hard to do. If you think about it, tater plantin' ain't all that bad. It ain't no worse than any other job out in the garden. It ain't no worse than plantin' beans or okry or whatever. It ain't near as bad as settin' out stuff, things like cabbage plants and termater plants. That's a job. You've got to bend over and stick 'em in the ground, then come back and pour water on 'em and everthing. You'd think I wouldn't like settin' out plants more than I would plantin' taters, but there's just somethin' about puttin' out Arsh taters that I don't like.
I've thought about it some over the years and I wonder if maybe it's because it looks like you're doin' somethin' wrong when you plant taters. Taters ain't like any other thing you plant. Everthing else, you plant seeds or you take little baby plants that's already growin' and stick 'em in the dirt. But taters ain't like that. You get your seed taters, the ones that you're plantin', and you cut 'em up in pieces and put the pieces in the ground. All you've got to do is make shore you get one of the little tater-eyes on the hunk of tater that you put in the ground.
It looks like cuttin' your taters up thataway would ruin 'em, but it don't. I mean, if you took and chopped up your cabbage plants, ever last one of 'em would die. But not them taters. Them taters don't care nary bit if you cut 'em up. You can whack 'em up ever which way and they'll still grow. In fact, there used to be this one family that lived up there to the head of the holler when I was a young'un that would take and peel their seed taters and then plant the peelin's. They did.
They said they ain't no use in wastin' a good tater, cuttin' it up and puttin' it in the ground, when you could eat the tater and the peelin's would grow just as good as the whole tater would. All you had to do is make shore they's some of them tater-eyes stickin' around on the peelin', same way as you would if you was plantin' them chunks of cutup taters. Maybe, if you was gonna peel 'em, you'd peel 'em kinda thick and leave a little bit more tater on the peelin' than you would if you wasn't gonna plant 'em. Now that I think about it, it seems like that's what they done, peeled 'em thick like that, I mean. But they still had the biggest part of the tater left to eat before they planted the peelin's.
Of course that was back in the days when people saved back a few taters for seed. Nowadays people buy their seed taters. I'd sorta be afraid to eat them store bought seed taters like that. They've prob'ly got poison sprayed on 'em to kill the bugs. You wouldn't want to be eatin' no taters that had bug-poison sprayed on 'em. They might make you sick. They might even kill you.
Course I wouldn't be eatin' no seed taters even if they wasn't the store bought kind. It's bad enough cuttin' 'em up like that, I shore wouldn't want to eat 'em and plant 'em too. It just don't seem right to me. Sorta like killin' the mama taters. And I reckon I ain't the only one that feels like that. Everbody that lived up around there talked about that family I was tellin' you about. Yeah, they talked about 'em worser'n a suck-egg dawg.
Now don't get me wrong. I ain't one of them that was talkin' about 'em like that. They ain't no such a thing as mama taters and baby taters. That's just plain dumb. And they ain't nothin' wrong with eatin' the taters and plantin' the peelin's. Not if that's what you want to do. And I'll tell you another thing. You can talk about 'em all you want to, but them people that was doin' it growed as good a tater patch as anybody up there. Fact is, their's was better than some people I could name. They allus had a good crop of taters.
But, still and all, It just don't set quite right with me. And I guess I don't relish bein' talked about because I don't plant taters like everbody else does, like people think you're supposed to. I know it ain't nobody's bizness how I do it. I know that. But, when you get right down to the rock bottom of it, that's prob'ly what bothers me about plantin' taters more'n anything else.
It don't seem right cuttin' 'em up like that which is what you've got to do if you're gonna plant taters. I guess that's part of it, but I'm allus a little squeamish about doin' it, about makin' sure there ain't nobody gonna come along and see me cuttin' 'em up and think I ain't doin' it the way it ort to be done. And it all goes back to that family that planted their peelin's. I know that's it. People talked about 'em, made fun of them behind their back, but there's more than one way to plant taters. It ain't nobody's bizness which way they done it. There ain't nothin' to be ashamed of. Them that was doin' the talkin' is the ones that ort to be ashamed.
I know I'm right about that, but it still bothers me some. Not much, but a little. It don't bother me enough to keep me from plantin' taters, but it does bother me enough to make me not like it. I hate to admit it, but it's the truth. It makes me a little uneasy. Now ain't you surprised? And all this time you was thinkin' I was perfect.
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