Saturday, August 25, 2012

Zoete Aardappel

Or 'Sweet Potato', in English.

Today I have made my first Things to Make and Do project in almost twenty years: Page 50, the Sweet Potato Vine.

1. Select your sweet potato.
2. Admire the cutie in the picture.
3. Suspend by toothpicks in 2/3 jar water

This project will take a little while to come to fruition, which for me is going to be a real exercise in patience. First, the jar and potato will have to sit in a dark cupboard for a week until roots form, and then after that it can go on a sunny window and wait for spouts to form (about two weeks). After that I'll be richly rewarded, for it apparently can grow twelve inches a month!

I always wanted to grow my own sweet potato vine when I was younger, but we never seemed to have an extra sweet potato lying around the house, and it was a little bit difficult for Mum to pop out and get one on a whim. For most of my childhood - certainly the years that I was enamoured with the book - we lived in a remote, boat-access only community on the Hawkesbury River, NSW, Australia. As well as being a boat-access only community, there were no roads on Bar Point, the actual area that we lived - just a house perched on a side of a mountain with a wharf and boat at the bottom. It was an idyllic place to grow up, but it did mean that Mum shopped in bulk because getting to a main shopping centre meant a half-hour boat ride, then a train ride, then a walk, and then back again (including carrying said groceries up the mountain back into the house!). You could be sure that if there was a sweet potato in our house, it was because we were going to eat it, not get crafty! I'm sure that she would have bought me one, had I asked her, but seven-year-old crafters are not known for being prepared...

So, twenty years later, across a couple of oceans in a traditional Amsterdam townhouse, I am growing my very own Sweet Potato Vine. I'll keep you posted about its progress.

PS - I've included below an aerial from Google Maps. You know it's remote, however, when there's no street view option!

So close 'as the bird flies' to the highway, but so far!

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