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Taters! (March 3 Garden Project)

September 11, 2010

Last week Ellen and I spent an afternoon harvesting potatoes.

In the spring we purchased a big box of assorted “seed” potatoes from Seed Savers.  We cut them up with two or three eyes on each piece, let the cuts air dry a week or two, then into the ground!  For whatever reason, we placed them in boxes and over time piled more soil up around them and added more boxes, eventually getting up three layers and planting about eight different potato types: Carola, Yukon Gold, French Fingerling, La Ratte Fingerling, All Reds, All Blues and others that escape me now.

It was a lot of dirt and a lot of waiting.  We had to wonder whether anything was really happening down there.  At one point mid-season I dug my arm down into the soil in a couple boxes and came up blank.  We were worried.  Then later Ellen got aggressive and tipped a whole box over to see what was going on down there.  She squealed when potatoes rolled out at her feet!

So last week we rolled our trusty green Garden Mark No. 89-1114 wheelbarrow into place and removed all the soil.  It was full of bugs and worms and creepy-crawlies and all kinds of wonderful, live stuff.  Such great soil!  We rolled it all into the chicken coop and onto our compost pile.  We are very proud of the incredible compost we’re building in there.  Wow, come spring that is going to be awesome stuff!

The boxes were brushed off and stacked in the garage, waiting for spring.  Potatoes, glorious potatoes were gently lifted out of the dirt and placed on the chaise lounge in the garage to dry and harden their skins.

Doesn’t everyone dry their potatoes on a chaise lounge?  Somewhere I read one of the qualities needed of a successful farmer was a clever ability to improvise.  I think our use of the chaise, the only such large mesh thing we had at hand, qualifies us as successful farmers.  If you don’t think so, taste one of our potatoes!

La Ratte

At the end of our hard labor Ellen and I sat on the bench in the garden, sipping a beer and feeling very happy about our venture.  It is really fun to garden together, digging in the dirt and planning our next moves – that would be a hoop house, if you’re wondering.  We’re dead-set on eating greens and veggies over the winter!

To see more recent March 3 Garden photos, click here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2010 12:59 am

    Congratulations on your potato harvest! Nice to a hear a success story about the “potatoes in a box” method. I have heard mixed accounts about this method. That soil will surely be black gold. It’s got to be a nice feeling to know that you are nourishing your garden as a result of your methods. Good luck with your hoop houses! I’ll be sure to stay tuned as I’m building some of my own!

    • November 2, 2010 7:01 pm

      artandchel, sorry for the late response. Stay tuned for a hoop house post soon! Need to put on the second end this week. It’s looking good!

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