Monday, August 3, 2009

Digging Around

The blue potatoes are the earliest of the varieties that we planted. They are already dying back. I wanted some fresh potatoes for the week, so I got the potato fork and went a'digging.

I dug a 3 foot section of potatoes and harvested 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

I have about 90 feet of potatoes planted. If they all produce as well as the blue ones are producing, that will be 175 pound of potatoes. Hoo, doggies.

(I'm really glad they are not all blue!)

We shared some with neighbors this evening - thanking them for horse manure that we use in our garden, or for plowing our driveway last winter, or just for being so nice. Or all of the above.

I'm sure we'll share some more, but I think I'm going to try dehydrating some this year too. That might be fun...interesting...or not. Have you ever dehydtrated potatoes? Or, do you have suggestions for other things I could try?

I'm already planning to take all the ones that get nicked or otherwise damaged and use them first. If I have a lot like that, I'll make mashed potatoes and freeze them. Mostly, I've always just stored potatoes, like in a root cellar or dark corner of the basement. I've wondered about canning them, but they keep fairly well here, so it seems like a lot of trouble....but if you have suggestions, please share them - I'm all ears! (eyes?)



Melody said...

Hi Laura!
It is a good idea to wash those 'to be stored' potatoes in a water solution with a little bleach added. That will kill any of the 'gonna rot' stuff on the skins. There. Finally using my college education.


tenthingsfarm said...

That is some awesome advice - thank you, Melody! I do that for pumpkins and winter squashes, but it never occurred to me in regard to potatoes.

That brings me to the next question, though. I thought I read somewhere that if I'm going to store my potatoes in a root cellar (and this year I am), I shouldn't wash them at all - just leave a light dusting of dirt on them.

Sure does seem like bleaching them would work well, though....will they still sprout? (I would want some of them to in the Spring for replanting)

stacey said...

i have never heard of blue potatoes do they taste like regular potatoes? and why are they blue?

tenthingsfarm said...

Stacey, they don't taste any different, and as far as I know, blue (sometimes purple) potatoes are just another variety of potato, just like some have red skins or some are yellow inside (like yukon gold).

They do look rather weird as mashed potatoes, but taste the same. :)

stacey said...

thanks cat

Susan said...

How do you know when it's time to dig up your potatoes? I planted some for the first time this year, and they didn't come up :( but I'm hoping to try again next year.

tenthingsfarm said...

Susan, the top plant will begin to die back when the potatoes are finishing up. Sometimes I dig them just as they start to die back, or you can wait until the top plant is completely dead, depending on what is going to work best for you. I dug some blue potatoes now for us to have them to eat/share right now, but I still have a fair number of them in the ground too, that we'll dig later.

Hope that helps!

When you plant potatoes, it's recommended that you cut the seed potatoes into pieces. Additionally, after you cut them, let those cuts dry out for a few days before you plant them, and the will be less likely to spoil in the ground, more likely to sprout. Don't give up! Some years it just doesn't work out. (This year, my cucumbers are nothing!)

Susan said...

Thanks! I didn't really know what I was doing with my potatoes, but know that I'm armed with new potato knowledge, I'll try again next year!

beth said...

When I have more potatoes than we can use, I cut them, toss with seasonings(maybe dry ranch mix or italian herbs), bake in the oven til almost done, then cool & freeze(on the baking sheet so they don't stick to each other); after frzn, place in bags and stick in the deep freeze. This makes short work of breakfast or dinner sides! Just bake the rest of the way when you need them!

tenthingsfarm said...

Thank you for that tip, Beth! I know my family would enjoy something like that, and I would enjoy having something quick and ready to go. Sounds like a great project for a cold day, so it could help heat up the house while I'm baking them! I'm definitely going to give this one a try.


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