Anatomy of the Potato

I dug up the first of the potato plants in our garden today. I can recall helping my parents dig up potatoes as a kid, but don’t remember it being so much fun! You pull this nasty-looking plant out of the ground and start digging. All of a sudden you come across these big pinkish-purple nuggets of goodness! This is how pirates feel, I suppose…

As I was digging, it struck me that while potato plants look kinda nasty – grasshoppers seem particularly drawn to ours – they have a lot hidden under the surface.

I’ve seen the quote several times recently “Don’t compare someone else’s outsides with your insides”. It’s really tough to tell what someone’s roots look like by looking at their leaves. Sometimes it’s the withered brown grasshopper-eaten plants that have the nuggets growing under the surface.

They say that a tree’s roots can be twice the diameter of its branches, and that when the roots are damaged, you may only notice it above the surface a couple of years later.

Personally, I find it’s really easy to forget to take care of my roots. I concern myself with looking good on the outside, or with keeping up with all the sky-reaching plants around me, but neglect to care for my insides, the parts that nobody sees, under the surface. You can get away with that for a while, maybe a couple years till the damage will only show up above ground.

They say you can judge a tree by its fruit. The problem is that sometimes that fruit is buried underground, and it will only be visible when the whole plant is pulled out.

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