'Taters Gone Wild: 2 Bushels and Counting

| 8/1/2016 12:13:00 PM

Tags: potatoes, plant genetics, harvesting, tubers, vegetable varieties, Blythe Pelham, Ohio,

Yukon golds and Strawberry paws

I spent 3 hours digging potatoes and two hours washing them this past weekend. So far, my experiment of planting the wildly exuberant potato volunteers in my basement has proven to be a success — especially since we now have fresh tubers to eat when I hadn’t planned on growing any this year at all. If you need a reminder about the beginning of this experiment, you can read this blog from April and this one from June.

I could have let some of this year’s crop sit longer in the ground, but our weather has been so hot and humid I figured they would probably last longer in my basement. Rather than continuing to tempt fate with them in the ground, I took advantage of a respite in the weather and dug away. The photo above is actually from two different harvests. I collected the Yukons a couple of weeks ago. There may still be a few of each of these varieties in the ground, but I won’t know until I dig the other two varieties still growing.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I adore the Christmas morning pleasure of digging my taters. I never know what I’ll find until I play in the soil. Finding each and every potato feels like discovering a gold nugget. Taken all together, the cumulative collection is truly a treasure that keeps filling our bellies and triggering my creative mind in the kitchen.

Stages of tater die off

The above photo shows the stages of waning potato plants. On the left, the vines are no longer discernible. In the center, only the green vines remain. To the right, the plants with leaves are still growing above the ground and producing tubers below. My weekend dig included the rows in the ready-to-dig area and some of the close-enough area.

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