Did Someone say POTATOES?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I've got potatoes.

Yes I do.

Apparently, I've got potatoes coming out of my ears -- or at least they soon will be.

The potato bed that looked so lush and green at the end of April is now starting to look a little ragged as we push into the last week of May. Long gone are the bright blue flowers -- and long gone is that lush, green look.

Many of the plants, in fact, are starting to lean over. Some of them have keeled over out of the raised bed completely. They're not dead mind you -- but I don't see them bouncing back up and looking bright and perky anytime soon.

In short, for us -- potato *growing* season is about to end. Potato harvest season, however, may be just around the corner.

This came as another "gotcha" moment when I was slaving away in the Back 40 of Bill & Venus Bird this holiday weekend. As my eyes scanned the potato bed, looking for any signs of production, a flash of color caught my eye.

And there it was -- as plain as you can see. A bright red, small, potato staring right back up at me. You can clearly see the small spud in the center of the picture to your immediate right.

Upon closer inspection, Venus and I learned that we'll be having a rather large harvest of large and small sized "All Blue" and "Cranberry Red" potatoes in another week or two. The photos simply do not do any justice here whatsoever. Venus and I discovered four or five MONSTER potatoes -- the "All Blue" variety" we think -- just now starting to break the soil line.

Now, the big question here is: what happens next? To be honest, I'm really not too sure. This is the first time that Venus and I have tried growing potatoes before. And we didn't grow the normal spud. Nope, these had to be *special* potatoes. Venus wants to make a "Red, White and Blue" potato salad for the 4th of July, therefore, we planted potatoes that retain their "All Blue" and "Cranberry Red" colors, even after cooking.

The big question however, is when to harvest? And if any growers have any suggestions for me, please feel free to leave any suggestions you might have. I've been told that you should wait for the above ground plants to die back completely before harvesting -- and that's still several weeks away.

Should the potatoes on top of the soil be harvested? Are they any good? What is this "green potato" problem that I've heard about, and advice that "green potatoes should not be consumed?" How can you tell if an "All Blue" or "Cranberry Red" potato is green -- when they're sporting the colors of purple-blue and bright red?

Questions, questions!

Meanwhile, the All Blue monsters continue to gain size and shape.

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