Potatoes are by far my favorite vegetable. Potatoes are also my favorite crop. The versatility of a potato is unsurpassed. I truly enjoy every aspect of potato growing.
I like to plant them. Although the hilling makes my shoulder hurt terribly, the end result is worth every bit of pain. We buy seed potatoes in the spring, planting half in March or April and the other half in July. That gives us two crops of new potatoes with their delicate skin. It also assures that the potatoes stored for winter remain firm and fresh until spring.
I just love digging them.
When I was a little girl, my dad would just laugh at me for wanting to dig the potatoes. Didn’t I know it was work? It didn’t matter to me; it was like hunting for buried treasure. The only thing I didn’t like was that sound of S-L-I-C-E…as the potato fork went through the potato. That was never the intention. But, then the potato wouldn’t store because of the dirty injury down through its center. Wasted potatoes made me sad.
Now we use a “potato buster” hooked onto the tractor. It works like a plow, gliding beneath the potatoes and turning the soil over so the potatoes just roll out. Way cool! While it IS cool, it doesn’t do ALL the work. We go along and sift the potatoes out of the turned and softened earth, often on our hands and knees.
For those of you who may not know, the only part of the potato plant that is edible is the tuber. The plant, its flowers and any berries it may have contain way too much solanine for human consumption.
In the past, we’ve had good yields on the potato crops. Last year, we had a dismal failure with some of them. This year we have had an AWESOME year.
Today, the Boss and I picked up more than eleven bushels of potatoes from the July planting. This was in addition to the five bushels he had already harvested from that patch. The reefer-cooler is pretty full! …and we’ve already sold a lot.
These are by far the biggest potatoes we’ve grown. The biggest one weighed in at over 2 pounds. It was huge.
I don’t know if it means I am turning into Cliff Clavin (remember the TV show Cheers?) or I am just so very tired, but it really looked like a face to me! The Boss got lots of laughs at my “Mr. Potato Head” the all-natural version.
Sometimes we have entirely TOO MUCH fun! But, you can never have too many potatoes!