....and in other news, authorities are still looking for the Natomas husband and wife buried under a potato harvest they were not expecting....
It's harvest time in a big way in the Backyard of Bird. From tomatoes to onions to garlic, everything is coming up roses this year, and in a big and massive way. I know you might be surprised to find out that this is our first year of growing potatoes in the Back 40. It probably won't be the last.
The potatoes in the sack to your right represent about one-third of our harvest a few days ago. Each sack is loaded with about 25 lbs. of "All Blue" and "Cranberry Red" potatoes that we harvested from a 4X8 foot raised bed. Venus planted exactly one pound of seed potatoes each last March. That two pound investment paid off in record numbers.
We knew we were both in for something special when we stuck the new pitchfork underneat the first plant and lifted up. I could not believe the size of these monsters. Would every plant yield this kind of harvest? That answer would be NO. Some were even better!
The Cranberry Red provided the biggest potatoes. The "All Blue" were somewhat smaller, about the size of a normal sack of potatoes that you would purchase at a normal grocery store. But those plants also contained greater numbers of potatoes, so the per-pound harvest was about the same.
We both knew we were in for something special when we started harvesting potatoes that had popped to the surface about two weeks earlier. We've been harvesting three or four pounds each for the past week -- just utilizing those that had poked above the soil line. But we never quite expected the surprises uncovered when we started digging up the bed.
This was one massive harvest. And while that is a good thing, the big question is what are two people going to do with 75 lbs. of potatoes? Can you store them? Where? How? We needed some experienced advice.
Some of that advice came from my gardening mentor, Farmer Fred Hoffman, and still others in the gardening internet community that have grown, and are still growing, potatoes. We discovered that the garage would be sufficient for potato storage, but we were going to need some burlap sacks.
Burlap sacks? Are those still sold? Where? Home Depot didn't have them. Neither did Lowe's or any other helpful/handy hardware and gardening supply business. But, as luck would have it, Venus stumbled across exactly what we needed at an East Sacramento Feed Store of all places. Here she is, proudly modeling the only clothing I will allow her to buy.
As one of my many gardening buddies remarked, "well, burlap is all the rage in Paris this year..."
Venus has already used some of the harvest on a Red, White & Blue potato salad, which we served to multiple friends and family members during the 4th of July. And we'll probably be snacking on leftovers for the rest of the week (the celebration is spelled out in the post below).
As for right now, Bill Bird is on a search for potato recipes. Got potatoes?