Two New Crops In The Garden

     I always start getting antsy (is that a word?) to start my seeds this time of year.  Way to early around here.  I have another month to wait.  So, I pour over the seed catalogs to plan my garden.  Not that it is ever a whole lot different, but I always try to plant something new, something I've never tried before. 
     I already knew that my new crop would be parsnips this year.  It was suppose to be my new crop last year.  I buy my seeds bulk sometimes at the feed mill.  The jar the seeds were in said "Parsnip", but that is not what grew.  A long row of turnips grew!  Oh that I had my pig then.  At least the ducks and chickens liked the green parts.  Turnips are not high on my "like" list. I also planted "zucchini".  It was obviously crossed seed.  We called them "pumpchini's"  :-)  This year ---- I'm ordering from a reputable catalog.  The parsnips will be planted specifically to try making some parsnip wine.  They say it tastes great, one of the best country wines you can make.  I have no idea what kind of medicinal value it will have :-).
     Since I am a year behind in trying something new, this year I'm trying two things.  I finally learned how to start a sweet potato!  I could buy started plants, but I wanted to learn how to do it from scratch.  There are no organic sweet potatoes in my little town.  Knowing full well that I should not be even trying to grow one from the grocery store (because it was most likely treated not to sprout) I did it anyway.  I cut off the bottom 1/3,  then put 4 toothpicks in the small part just to hold it half way in a glass of water.  It didn't grow.  Now, most people would not try the same thing again, but I am not "most" people.  Two months later, I bought another sweet potato from the grocery store --- and you got it --- it grew!  Green shoots above the water, and lots of roots below the water.  I planted it, and it is growing beautifully.  Next I will cut the shoots, and start them in water till I get roots.  I already cut one shoot to get it started, had it in a glass of water -- I guess just a little close to the edge of the counter.......  "Where did my sweet potato shoot go?!!"  "I didn't do anything to it"  "Well, it's gone!!"  The only ones not talking were the dogs.........I hope sweet potato vines aren't poisonous.  (They are both still alive, and neither got sick :-)
The "parent" sweet potato vine.

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