|frost-damaged pole bean plants|
Nature and the City put a stop to all of that thinking. Nature’s kibosh came in the form of a freeze on Friday night. Even though Saturday was relatively warm, the damage from the freeze was obvious, and obviously permanent—wilted stalks, soupy leaves.
|the party's over|
The City weighed in by disconnecting our water: as public land, the property that houses Ginkgo Organic Gardens is subject to the annual water schedule of the City’s parks. With our frost-damaged plants and the loss of reliable water, we decided that it was time to pull up all plants but the collards and kale (which actually benefit from frost).
We felt like scavengers, shaking down dying plants for meager remains, until we started digging in the sweet potato bed. Our harvest of 15 pounds was much better than we had hoped. It was especially gratifying to obtain such a yield when we remembered that all of our sweet potato plants came from slips that Dave Short had started in jars of water in his kitchen.
At least 3 pounds of sweet potato was contained in one unnatural-looking root that was large to feed a family all by itself. It was a bulbous and veiny and—frankly—testicular-looking tuber. It was an unseemly sweet potato.
I bundled the USP with the rest of the produce and biked everything to the Vital Bridges pantry. As I have for almost every weekend since the end of spring, I arranged the produce in baskets on a metal cart that I wheeled out to the waiting area of the pantry. I chatted with the volunteers and pantry clients and urged someone to take the scary-looking growth that was the centerpiece of the day’s offering.