If it works, awesome! If it doesn’t work, you’ve still got potatoes.
It’s the end of March in New England, and we are not particularly good at panic buying.
We have a lot of time on our hands, though, and we want to get ahead of the next crisis. So we’re starting our gardens—with the things we have on hand.
The only problem? Planting season hasn’t started.
So, naturally, it’s about setting and keeping reasonable goals, and establishing a routine for this wild-ass quarantine shit.
The fuck. I don’t even know, man.
I am currently oscillating between paralyzing fear and cautious optimism while listening to “Lawyers Guns & Money” on repeat. I welcome any and all diversions, especially the ones that can be done with a solid distance between myself and the rest of humanity.
Let’s look around this fucking apartment, and find some shit to stick in the ground.
You bought five 10-pound bags of potatoes, freaked out that St. Patrick’s Day was cancelled. But you forgot to buy the tater-tot attachment for your KitchenAid, and now you wanna play with knives.
Totally understandable. Happens to the best of us.
But I already had a massive bag, and I only used a pound like a month ago. And now, the whole bag has those weird knobby things all over it.
Perfect. Make like Whitey Bulger, and bury that shit.
Cut those weird-looking tubers in half. Cautiously, please. This is a shitty time for dumb kitchen accidents.
Now, let those spuds dry for a couple of days, until they’ve got taut skin, like you if you’ve been washing your hands as much as you’re supposed to. Then, find yourself a patch of dirt and put those bad boys six-inches deep. You can even name your potatoes after your enemies and friends. It might be cathartic.
If it works, awesome! You’ve got more potatoes, and the satisfaction of growing your own food. If it doesn’t work, you’ve still got potatoes.
Holy fuck, that’s a lot of potatoes.
Who wants to throw things?
Good, us too. Let’s make seed bombs.
We’re going to need dirt, maybe some compost, water, and seeds. You know that huge collection of packets you bought a few years ago mid-meltdown, but never got around to planting? You weren’t lazy, you were hyper-prepared. And you’re prepared for this moment. Maybe more than you realize.
In times like these, it’s easy to hate on yourself for not being a doomsday prepper, and only having two months worth of beef jerky in your bunker instead of three. But don’t get down on yourself. The only people who were really prepared for indefinite quarantine are insufferable assholes.
Anyway, if you don’t have any seeds, use those old beans your ex-vegan, ex-roommate left behind. Add the compost to the dirt, mix in the seeds, and add some water. Make mud balls, then let them dry in the sun for a day or two. Finally, throw your seed bombs wherever. Seriously, hurl those motherfuckers at any spot you think would look pretty with some wild flowers or, ya know, kidney beans that you will need to survive.
Holy fuck, I wanna throw shit.
Did you start panic-drinking before you went panic-shopping?
Did you purchase a quart of kalamata olives with the pits to match that weird craft gin you bought for the martinis that maybe might get you through this? Are you ashamed to admit you had a small-scale, pit incident/dental emergency in the midst of an actual emergency? We feel you. It’s a weird time to have people put their hands in your mouth. So yeah, you’ve got weird gin and dangerous olives.
You’ll need an empty egg carton and some dirt. Take a shot. Slowly strip the flesh of the olive with your teeth, savoring each briny moment like the life-sustaining force it is.
Put the dirt in the carton, put the pit in the dirt, and definitely don’t lick your dirty fingers.
Repeat until you realize that binge-drinking, as awesome as it is, might not be the best way to deal with this situation. A drink to unwind at the end of a long, boring day? Sure, great call. Drinking the last of the gin stash before breakfast? Bad move.
Water your tiny garden daily, and maybe we’ll be done with this thing before you realize that your little olive trees aren’t gonna grow and you’re out of vermouth.
Holy fuck, that was a lotta vermouth.
Sean L. Maloney is a Boston-based, Nashville-trained journalist and content creator. His work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Nashville Scene and New York Magazine. He is also the author of 33 1/3: The Modern Lovers from Bloomsbury Publishing.