Clark Hollow Ramblings: The gift that keeps on giving 

The midterm elections are over. Can I hear an “amen.” I get so tired of the commercials on TV. And it’s not just political ads; it is the negative ads that seem to get to me after awhile. Can’t they just tell you what they would do if elected and let the other candidate do the same? The simple answer is, of course, no, they can’t do that. All the pollsters tell them that negative ads work. So, we just have to put up with it. 

I hope the election results were to your liking. I am a big fan of Mike Snider. He is a musician and comedian. He will introduce a song and say, “I hope you like this song. But, if you don’t, it will be over in two or three minutes, and we’ll do another one, and maybe you’ll like that one.” So, if the election didn’t completely suit you, just hold on, and we’ll have another one in two years. Maybe you’ll like that one. 

In digging under his prize potato plant, Richard Brady was surprised to find some late-season potatoes.
In digging under his prize potato plant, Richard Brady was surprised to find some late-season potatoes.

I thought I had written the last word about the garden and the wonderful growing season we had this year. But, there is more. Saturday night for supper we had the best cress from the garden, with stewed tomatoes and mashed potatoes and corn bread. Oh my, was it good. We tried for the last several years to get dryland cress to grow, and had very little success. This year we had enough come up and mature that we could have a big mess for supper. 

When I was a little fellow, it seemed to me that cress used to grow wild in corn fields. Maybe the farmers threw some seed out. I don’t really know, but it looked like it grew wild to me. I remember going with my father down to Mr. George Bowling’s farm on Crest Hill Road. Mr. Bowling would let my dad and me go down to a river bottom field, next to the Jordan River. We would cut the cress and put it in a sack and bring them home, and mom would pick over them and cook them up. Gosh, was it good. 

Ours came up pretty good this year, and has been big enough to cut for a week or two, but my bride has this idea that you don’t cut cress until after you have a big frost. She says the frost makes them tender. I have been waiting patiently for the cold weather that hit last week. It was worth the wait. 

And if that wasn’t the end of the tales from the garden, this is: When you dig your potatoes in July or August, there are always a few tiny ones that you miss. I pick up more of them than Linda wants to fool with because I don’t like to waste much. But a couple of these tiny spuds that were left in the ground decided it was time to sprout and start growing all over again. We had a few new potato plants come up. One, in particular, in the corner of a raised bed, was bigger than the others. It actually got big enough that I thought it was going to bloom, but it never did. After the hard freeze last week, I went into the garden to find the pepper plants and tomato plants were as black as tar. So was my prize potato plant. Just for grins, I dug under the dead plant, and found two nice big potatoes and a couple small ones. 

It was Sunday, Nov. 9, and there I was digging new potatoes. And they weren’t big ones that were missed in the summer. These were new potatoes with paper-thin skin on them. I couldn’t believe it. This garden just keeps on giving. Take care, every one. See you in the funny papers. 

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 151 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.