May 6, 2013

We Did IT!! We've got Taters

  WOO HOO we have potatoes!  It truly doesn't take much to get me excited, but you know that by now don't you.

       Remember back in January we started getting serious about gardening and tried our hand at potato towers? Here's the post to remind you.  Things had been moving along quite nicely I thought, sorry forgot to take pictures in March.  Then all of a sudden I noticed that the towers, especially the white potato tower wasn't getting any bushier.  In fact it looked as if someone, or should I say something, had given it a bit of a trim.  Some critter, not Nadia this time, was munching on my leaves.  By the time I discovered this it was just too late.  What was even more frustrating was my inability to learn whether or not potatoes will continue to grow without leaves.   Was also a bit weird in that it seemed the White Potatoes were the main target of whatever insect attacked.

     Finally we had no other choice but to dump harvest, the potatoes.  For once I thought ahead and laid down one of the sheets we use as frost blankets to dump the tower onto.  I figured we could throw the hay in with the peeps and the dirt into the compost bin to be rejuvenated.
     I'll admit it was a lot of fun tipping the tower over. The harvesting was quite simple due to the layering technique we used when planting the seed potatoes.
So turns out that we didn't need to harvest the potatoes as they were still growing.  Some were so tiny they looked little bigger than gnocchi.  We probably harvest over 10 pounds of potatoes.  We decided to let the red potatoes go a bit longer.
So now that we've officially harvested our first 2013 crop here's what I've learned:
  1. DO NOT buy a bag of seed potatoes at Ace Hardware when you can go to Farm Supply store and select your seed potatoes and only buy what you need
  2. Do put a seed potato in the middle of your circle in the tower as it won't grow
  3. Be more attentive about what critters are crawling on the underside of your leaves, even at night
  4. After you've harvested the potatoes the vine will continue to grow when replaced in the tower
  5. The Seed Potato was barely changed during the growing process, just softer 
  6. DO NOT WASH freshly harvested potatoes.... they will go bad within a day if you do.  
  7. Fresh Potatoes have an incredible earthy smell to them
  8. Home Grown Tomatoes are fantastic!!
I'm bummed I can't plant a fresh tower until the fall.. but I'm ready!!!

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