Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Digging Potatoes

We finally got a hard freeze the other night and the volunteer potato plants wilted, so it was time to dig and find the treasure nature had stored underground. These late emerging plants had come up in the midst of a new compost area, so I worked around it all summer long, letting them grow as much as they would.

The first crop, if you can call four hills a crop, was dug a month or so ago, and part of the bounty already eaten, so I was looking forward to a few more before having to go back to grocery store potatoes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for those holey plastic bags that carry clean, well formed potatoes from faraway fields to my grocer's shelves - never mind that there are many potato fields starting only a mile from my home - but fresh potatoes straight from the garden can't be beat.

So, for not having planted these late growing potatoes, it was a pretty good harvest. Three big bakers, a couple of in betweens and a half dozen small new boiling potatoes. For free, that's not bad. That's a few more meals straight from the goodness of sunshine, earth and rain in my own backyard.

I think, with a little more effort and a little more yard dug up, I can grow a real crop of potatoes. Since I don't have a good place to keep them through the winter, I'll be happy if I can grow enough to last through Christmas dinner - a project for next year.


  1. Hi,

    I been a fan of yours for a long time.Been making your homemade laundry sop and cleaners for over a year now. I will be retiring in 4 years and am trying to save all I can. I grew up on a farm in OHio and we learned to make due with what we had so I have a good base on how to save. I really enjoy your post and helpful advise. I thought it was about time I thanked you . Did ya use seed potatoes? I would like to grow a few next year, can I use the eyes out of a store bought tater too?

    mary dotson

  2. Mary, I used two old, shriveled up potatoes from the bag I bought at the grocery store. As long as the potatoes have healthy "eyes" or sprouts, they'll grow. Some potatoes won't grow due to being treated. They won't grow healthy looking eyes or sprouts, either, so you can tell if they'll grow by looking at them.

    Thank you for your comments! I'm glad to have made some small impact on your frugal habits. :)

  3. Pat-
    One idea for potatoes is to mash them and freeze them, or double bake and freeze.
    I would say with your success, it would be fun to plant quite a few next year!

  4. Tracy, I've never tried the double baked, but I have frozen mashed potatoes, good idea, thanks!