I come from a long line of urban homesteaders. They wouldn't have called themselves that—urban homesteaders, but in today's vernacular that's what we would call them. They didn't homestead for the same reasons we do today, either. It never crossed my great great grandfather Abram "Kopel" Levin's mind that he should reduce his family's carbon footprint or be worried about the safety of the food that went into his children's mouths. He planted a field of potatoes because he had to feed his family. And his 10 children, my great grandmother Sophie included, tended to the potatoes so they could eat. Potatoes were sustenance. They were life.
|My great grandmother Sophie Levin Scherper|
With research in hand and my seed potatoes ordered, it was time to build and prepare the beds for planting. I made a post on FreeCycle requesting cinder blocks. My dad and I picked them up, loading and unloading the back of the pickup truck 6 times to get them to their intended backyard destination. Back-breaking work when you’re 5-foot tall and weigh 92 pounds, yet somehow so easy when compared to the way Leizer and Kopel would have had to do it in the 1800s. But we did it and we got two 3 x 16-foot beds built 2 layers high. Then we bought the soil, 120 bags of it if I remember correctly, got them home, unloaded, and the beds filled. I amended the soil with an organic all-purpose fertilizer I had purchased from the seed potato supplier and then waited for the seed potatoes to arrive.
|My great great grandfather Abram "Kopel" Levin|
|Sophie Levin Scherper|