Potatoes are up (in more ways than one)


A portion of the potato harvest being weighed in the front yard using our new old produce scale.

We both love potatoes, and as long-time readers of this blog will know, we have had difficulties growing potatoes. We had a year where the seed spuds rotted in the ground before sprouting and two years where we lost all or most of the crop to flea beetles.

This year, thanks to crop rotation, pig poop, beneficial nematodes, and sheer luck, we got a decent crop. Not exemplary, but enough to make me grin like a fool even as I was sweating like a pig to fork up my treasures. In 2010 we had no potatoes. In 2011 about 28 lbs. This year we managed 67 lbs! We planted ‘Yukon Gold’ and ‘Red Lasoda.’ (Both tasty and good keepers, too.)

The trick now is storage. Last year I just stuck the taters in a milk crate in our storeroom and called it good. We don’t heat that room so it stays cool but not cold over the winter. It’s also where we keep packaged emergency foodstuffs, onions, and garlic. But temperature wasn’t the problem – light was. So this year the potatoes are being stored in paper and/or cloth bags. But where remains to be seen. Right now they are taking up most of the floorspace in the kitchen. If I can sort out whatever is keeping our as-yet-unused root cellar‘s temperature so high (that is, if I can get it down to 40 degrees from its current 60) I can put them in there for long-term storage. If not, they go in the storeroom – where it is also 60 degrees or better because its 90 degrees outside!

But that’s all for later. Right now I need to get out there and harvest the onions while the morning is still somewhat cool.

— Amanda


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