Digging Taters

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Gosh! I love this time of year!

The leaves are changing color. The shadows are lengthening. The weather is crisp and cold. And there’s just a special kind of excitement in the air.

Can you feel it?!

Everything seems to be bursting with energy and urgency as we step closer and closer to winter.

We’ve definitely been feeling that excitement and urgency here at the One Acre Lott — not to mention an overwhelming drive to get stuff harvested and “put up” before the ground freezes.

As a matter of fact, a week or so ago, we had 3 evenings in a row where, as soon as dinner was finished, Lindsey and I would bundle the girls, grab our shovels, and then head out as a family to dig potatoes — leaving the dishes to be washed later that night (sometimes much later that night, unfortunately).

But, man! Those were fun evenings!

Even our 3 year old joined in on the work, brushing off the potatoes Lindsey and I had already dug and carrying them to the wheelbarrow.

Yeah, she did tend to get “distracted” quite often by the kitties hiding in the woodpile, but she still did a pretty good job. And at least she’s learning, right?

Our 1 year old, however, toddled around the garden the whole time, picking up rocks and sticks, and helping herself to the bounties of Autumn, while the rest of us worked on digging spuds.

She had a knack for picking only the shriveled, overripe green beans and the green, unripe cherry tomatoes, but she didn’t seem to care. She’d come up to me or Lindsey (whichever was closest at the time), show us what was in her chubby, outstretched hand, and then grunt until someone acknowledged her newfound treasure.

“Oh, good job! That looks like a… ‘tasty’ cherry tomato!”

Once she’d received the praise she was looking for, she’d smile a big gap-toothed smile, jam it into her mouth and then stumble her way back for more.

I tell ya, I just love being a dad!

And y’know, there’s also something special about plunging your hands into the rough soil and pulling out a big ol’ tater. I know I get a kick out of weird things, but digging potatoes is just so fulfilling — especially when it comes time to push the overflowing wheelbarrow down to the cellar.

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But, like all good things, even digging taters had to come to an end.

When the light finally faded at the end of each day, and it got too dark to see whether you were holding a rock or a spud, Lindsey and I would put our shovels away, drag out a few ragged old tarps and cover as many of the squash/melon/pumpkin plants as we could (y’know, to protect ’em from the frost), and then bring the girls in for their bedtime routine.

I have to admit though, it was kinda nice when we finally got that last row dug and put away.

Now we can focus on all the other Falltime activities we love so much, like picking apples and making applesauce, apple chips, apple cider, and all our other yearly apple traditions. There’s also the concord grapes that are ripening — and the deer hunt that starts next week…

Yep, there’s always something to do around here. Especially in the Fall!

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