One of my favorite gardening goodies is the enduring potato. I think it’s because potato’s are filling, delicious and I never get any complaints from anyone that they don’t like them. Potatoes are a relatively neutral food as in many people don’t think to much about them at all until they don’t have one. They are easy to plant, although they do take a little time to dig out, and they are easy to store. Here in North Carolina they last quite a while in “cool” storage in the garage. We plant ours in buckets so we have to dig for them and then shovel them out at the bottom but for the level we plant them at they are easy and its like digging around for a Cracker Jack Toy its always a surprise. I am so forgetful that I never even know which variety I am digging up so it’s truly exciting!
Then I have to make sure they are cured for storage so I lay them out on newspapers for about 2 weeks at 50 to 60 degrees (cool and dark place) so far I have not really grown enough potatoes to warrant having to store them long anyway so I have never had any issues but after 2 weeks their skins will toughen up but make sure you do not wash your potatoes before storage just brush the dirt off of them. I am actually getting ready to plant more potatoes this weekend. You see the weather is so mild where I live and the potatoes love our sandy, loamy soil that I just harvested these potatoes. This year we only harvested a couple of buckets but we are putting new systems in place this next year which will hopefully facilitate a more bountiful harvest!
The sad part is in spite of the popularity of french fries in the fast food world the humble potato is in decline. In November 2011 an article was published in the New York Times that the sale of the potato was in decline in Ireland as no longer being the carbohydrate of choice. A decline is also in process in the US and Canada – farmers have attempted to plant less to encourage demand but it doesn’t appear to be helping. Some of the reasons the potato is in decline most likely is attributed to everyone realizing finally french fries are not good for us but I think it has a lot to do with other offerings being available as well.
In spite of this decline I sure love planting them on our Lil’ Suburban Homestead and hope to harvest way more next year. I also love a good baked potato with just some butter and salt and pepper. Simple sometimes is best!
For some of us the early Spring planting has begun! Enjoy and have a great Friday everyone!
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