October is potato harvesting

WHoliday Shop 09We just harvested these pototoes tonight from a box in a raised-bed garden.

They look absolutely gorgeous and luscious to me; recipes are already at hand for vinegar chips for me, and hot-poppers for MM.

White potatoesThe best part is that the white fingerlings were planted from grocery store gourmet potatoes which had begun to sprout in the very pricey, cute little bag. Authorities will say that you CAN'T plant store-bought potatoes because they've been treated with some type of chemical, but I am here to tell you that they are wrong. These were grown without the expense of shipping from a potato farm and without any waste from the kitchen. I simply cut them into segments and tucked them in the garden at the same time I planted the mail-order potatoes. My theory is, if it sprouts, plant it and see what happens.

Red potatoesAs for the other potatoes: the red fingerlings and the mini Yukon Golds, looking back over my order records from last Spring, I spent $30.45 from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds for these which included $10.00 shipping. The reds did better than the Yukons, but overall, not a real astounding return for our trouble.

Even with the expense and small return, this is a 100% improvement over last year's crop which was devoured by voles (sort of mice with no ears) that crept into the garden at night. This year we built a new box and added a flexible sheet of metal mesh on the bottom which I brought home from the cement department at the hardware store. We put peat moss and straw around the green vines as they grew.

Potato vines in MayWe also covered the crop with a floating row cover because we'd learned in '07 that flea beetles would destroy the leaves in short order, and home-made traps did not stop them. When the potato vines were too big to fit under the cover, the flea beetles returned, but we were able to keep them mostly at bay with some diatamatious earth sifted on top.

I am not an expert at much, except for dreaming. And I know I will continue to dream of a bountiful garden as a sort of sanctuary and sacred space. I think potatoes will always be a part of it.

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