May 14, 2009

One Potato, Two Potato

Our first real year of potato growing! We started by ordering some good quality heirloom seed potatoes from Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, IA. As I mentioned in an earlier post, these are French Fingerling and German Butterball varieties. When you place the order, you can decide when you want them shipped. We chose delivery in late April, and we'll probably get them one week earlier next year.

The next step is to let them sit out in a warm, light environment so they develop eyes, in other words, the very thing you don't want them to do in your refrigerator when you bring them home from the grocery store!

The next step, a couple of days before you plan to plant them, is to cut them into smaller pieces. Each piece of course, should have at least one eye. The cuts need a couple of days to heal over. The instructions that came with them said that any seed potatoes that were the size of a golf ball or smaller could be planted without cutting them. The ones in the photo with the red veining are the French Fingerlings - pretty huh?!

Then comes the planting. DH had the thrill of tilling these furrows in a small gale with 25 mph gusts - such fun! But when you need to plant, you NEED to plant. It proceeded to storm that evening, so the next night we went out at about 8:30pm and plopped these babies down as fast as we could. They go in cut side down. These pictures are less than stellar since I neglected to switch my camera to 'night mode' - silly.

Once these come up, we'll keep piling dirt up around the shoots so that we end up with hills of potatoes that can be dug in a gradual fashion. Hopefully these long stretches of potato furrows mean that we'll have potatoes all winter the way some of my relatives do!

Yep - on potato night we experienced planting by the moon in a literal sense!

Well, this is all then.

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