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Out with the Old, In with the New

Garth Brown |

A couple days ago I cleaned out the root cellar. There were, unsurprisingly, still a ton of rutabagas and little else. Though they were still edible, they were no longer in peak form, and with the garden starting to pump out beets, carrots, and potatoes, it was time to say goodbye. Earlier in the year I wondered whether grain would historically have been used to fill in the gap between the end of the stored root crops and the beginning of their fresh replacements. The past six months have proved that some storage crops can last into July even under less than perfect conditions, but I still think having a couple hundred pounds of wheat and oats would make the transition a more pleasant experience.

The rutabagas did do a final violence to my person. As I said, they were for the most part remarkably sound, even at this late date. But some of them had gone bad, a fact I discovered when I lifted a crate from a high shelf, resulting in a reeking slurry of rotting vegetable matter cascading over the front of me. Though my clothes almost always get dirty in the course of a day’s work, this was disgusting enough that I immediately had to go inside to wash and change. I wish I had some pithy insight or lesson I learned from this experience, but it was just really gross, and I hope it never happens again.


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