Stubborn Sweet Potato Slips

Our giant Tillandsia Xerographica is happy just hanging on a hook near a kitchen window. It’s about 12 inches wide at its widest point.

The sweet potato slips are doing OK, but not great. They’ve graduated to water rooting.

The sweet potato slips we started a month ago are being stupid. The water the cut potatoes were in kept fouling, and last weekend, we decided they had to leave the house. Outdoors, they were not so happy. So, I cut off all the slips that appeared to be ready for water rooting. There’s not many, and even they don’t seem too pleased. We may have to buy our organic slips from Balleks this year. Boo.

There’s just no telling how or why this happens, even when the growing conditions are perfect. The water should get a little starchy, but not rancid. I changed it 2 to 3 times a week, which is about right. But last week, I changed the water and cleaned out the trays completely, then returned the potatoes, and in two days, the water was sour again. That’s when we knew that it was time for a new plan.

On a happier note, our gigantic Tillandsia Xerographica is extremely well. This is what I love about air plants - give them a short bath once a week, maybe mist them with some water here and there, and they just keep going. Our kitchen is in no way similar to the air plant’s native habitat, but tillandsia adjusts and survives - even thrives. This is backbone.

Last night, I again watched what has become one of my favorite films. The documentary ‘Hannah’ follows the life of the late Hannah Nydahl, a Buddhist who almost single-handedly brought Buddhism from Tibet to the West from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Together with her husband Ole, they spent their 28-year marriage traveling the world, spreading the most precious Dharma. During a troubled time in Buddhism’s history, they smuggled the true 17th Karmapa from Tibet to safety in India in the early 1990s, so that he could begin his work. They established hundreds of Diamond Way Buddhism centers across the world.

The couple declined to have children or own anything so that they would be free to carry out their mission. She went to the Pure Land in a state of deep meditation three months after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and to the end, it was reported, gave teachings in her native Danish.

I look to her for an example of how to be. She was a rare, brave, humble, powerful woman, and whatever aspects of her personality and actions that I can emulate, I do. She sacrificed everything of herself in order to lead tens of thousands of people to Buddhism. Check out this film if for no other reason than it’s a look at the spread of Buddhism to the West, which is a fascinating story. But like me, you’ll probably find yourself in awe of Hannah Nydahl, and it will lift your spirit.

Live in peace.

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