Aug 6, 2009
Will the real Irish Gardeners please stand up?!
Today was potato day! With names like my family has, I was afraid to be downright embarrassed if I came up empty handed, so you can imagine my delight when we discovered there was indeed actual potatoes growing in my experimental potato-straw cages! (Although remember when my husband torched my potato cages? This was going to be my excuse if we came up empty handed today :))
Here is a photo taken before we started. I have 3 potato cages filled with straw. The vines died back a couple of weeks ago on the two cages on the left. The one on the right is still green so Sailor/Farmer/Husband will be home to experience the fun when that one is ready.
Everything else went pretty much as the way I had planned. In theory, I would simply lift the chicken wire off, and the straw would spill out revealing the potatoes. It actually worked! I wasn't even sure what to expect as far as yield since this is the first time I have grown potatoes, but I decided I would be happy if I got at least a couple of dinners worth.
Here are the kids sifting through the straw. Along with potatoes they found 1 slug, 2 toads, and a couple of worms. Nothing too scary was in there! (I have to admit I was a little freaked at what might be living in there due to the air pockets in the straw and close proximity to the compost piles!)
The yield: 4.03 lbs Rose Finn Fingerling Potatoes!
I know my husband will be reading this from afar and wondering if he won't get to taste them - don't worry...there is one more potato cage waiting just for you! I plan on steaming or boiling a few tonight with a little butter, salt & pepper and fresh parsley, yum!
Not so impressive: below are the raspberries I found after I ripped the squash vines off my berry patch!
I did get a little bit accomplished today besides the potatoes so it was a good day. Although the humidity was 80 some percent, the temps stayed in the 80's and the sun stayed behind the clouds, so I was able to rip out my strawberry bed before the thunderstorms chased me inside and now I have 2 empty raised beds! (My area is known for all types of berries, so I will leave future strawberries up to the pick-your-own farms, since they take up so much space all year for a small harvest window). Oh, the possibilities of empty beds....you gardeners know what I am talking about! I can't wait to sit down with my seeds and catalogs and plan for the next season. A planning session and fresh ideas are just what I need to lift my spirits during this oppressive heat wave.
Tomorrow morning starts with a date with friends to pick blueberries at the farm. Gotta love blueberries, they are so easy! Pick, eat, freeze whole. SIMPLE!