Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spudtacular Sight

I took a brave step this spring and planted potatoes. I have never grown potatoes before, so I read all I could find on the subject. I would not recommend doing this, as I became more confused with each piece of information I read.
Dig deep, don't dig deep, trench, don't trench, raised bed, no raised bed, slope, no slope. Dirt? Straw? Oh my goodness! It was all just a bit much.
So, I reached for my copy of Country Wisdom and Know-How, that had sat by my bed for months, and turned to the "Growing Potatoes" section. What was recommended here seemed pretty straight-forward. Turn the garden soil deeply. Do not compact it by walking on it. Determine your rows and place a seed potato evenly spaced across the entire bed. Cover with 18" of straw, water and wait. Okay, done.
I did not hold much hope for this little potato bed of mine, as my thumb has been a rather pallid shade of green the past few years.
My son, our two intrepid missionaries (who never fail to offer their assistance for any service project) and I had dug deeply, turning the hard clay and adding amendments such as peat moss, organic garden soil and cow manure. The result was a lovely, soft mixture of soil the color of the burned sugar on the bottom of my oven. (But that's another story.) The rest was up to Mother Nature to help my little potatoes to pull through.
Well, pull she did! Take a peek for yourself. See those lovely deep green plants poking through the straw? Those are potato plants!! I squealed with delight when I saw them. Because where there are plants, there will be potatoes.

Is that not a beautiful sight to behold? The tops have now been covered with a new layer of straw, so that sunlight does not get down and turn the forming potatoes green. That is probably the hardest part of growing them this way, trying to keep the potatoes in the dark.

But I am hopeful that these sturdy little plants will produce pounds of sweet Purple Viking and Yukon Gold potatoes. My family will be delighted. Especially my meat and potatoes- loving husband.

I don't think there is anything mroe satisfying than placing a seed (or seed potato) in the ground and having it grow and produce food for your family. It is an absolute miracle.

The remainder of our garden is doing as well as the potato patch. By the end of summer, I hope to have been able to feed my family, share vegetables with my parents, along with some elderly members of our church and put some up for the winter.

That's a lot to expect from a small plot of land but I have faith that it will come through. Just like those little potato plants poking through the straw.


amy said...

potatoes are my absolute favorite! other than loving to eat them. i LOVE to dig them. it is like a treasure hunt and the smell of potato dirt is heavenly! seriously, i used to beg my parents to let me be the one to dig the potatoes up for dinner, and the happily obliged :)

The Feathered Nest said...

My land woman, you ARE a farm girl!!! How cool is THAT?? I love me some potatos too ~ cooked any way that you choose...I'm so glad that you've got your raised beds now. I know you're enjoying them! Thanks so much for your sweet words about my blog ~ I. am. a. blog. freak....oh well, there are worse things! xxoo,Dawn

Ginger said...

ok, Which way did you plant them i never planted potatoes before, with raising prices i want to plant some food just in case.
ya never know whats up your blog thank you for sharing so many lovely things.

Utah Grammie said...

Ah...the little potato that could! You need to write a children's book about chickens & wait -that sounds like a cookbook! Oh horrors!
Make it a story of a'd be safer that way..

Senior Bowler-Carolyn said...

Since you are a real Farm Girl, I am sure your potaotes and the rst of your garden will be wonderful....we have 3 tomato plants in pots on the patio..that about a adventerous as I can get...

Anne Fannie said...

Wow, planting potatoes, I have never done that! Now thats a true blue farm girl! I have heard so much about you from my friend Maryjane, Beehive Cottage that I feel like I already know you! Oh, when you do cook Pearl, I want the chicken coop!
Love, Ann