Wednesday, October 8, 2014


It snowed again the other day. The forecast for 22 F. sent me rushing to get my potatoes in. Some were eying the skies and with their heads poling up I wasn't sure they would survive the cold night. With the potatoes shivering in laundry baskets. Maybe shiver was a bit much but even if they weren't I was. The dried bean shells had ended up proceeding being pulled. I have such ADD at times. I started to dig the potatoes and the effort made me stop and look over at the dried bean rows. I thought they'd make a nice break so I went and started pulling plants while ripping off swelled pods and putting them into buckets. When my back grew tired of beans I started on the potatoes again. Which had me stopping once more to look over at the green bean plants which I had quit picking weeks ago with the fleeting hope that they would have time to form seed.

Maybe just maybe I could get a little of them but by then it had started to rain and I had to rush in the garage the potatoes and dried bean pods. When it started to hail I was done. The howling winds making them seem like the skies were hurtling BB's at me. I huddled in the garage on the tarp, my hood on my sweatshirt pulled up and occasionally glancing out the window at the rain/hail, thinking it would soon stop, I began shucking beans from the shells. Did you know that is addicting. I couldn't stop though the rain/hail turned to snow and I became colder and colder.  I did not stop until all the beans were shucked. Then I started a fire in the stove in the house roasting marshmallows of course. I do love a good golden brown marshmallow all crunchy on the outside and warm gooey on the inside.
 It wasn't until later that I got around to sorting potatoes. Once again I'm thrilled with my King Harry's. The best performing potato I've ever had. I know, I haven't had many but this one has far surpassed anything I've ever grown. In the old garden here. (Hmmm I really do need to name the gardens. Want to help?) I had wilting disease  but the King Harry's still produced medium to small potatoes. Shocker as the plants didn't even blossom. These were the potatoes I grew in the garden at the old house. They out performed that gardens harvest by many times. The soil there was horrible. Having grown them for a while I had forgotten that when you nick a potato it often turns to mush later. These don't.  
Some of the King Harry's were at a whopping 4 1/2 inches. The amount of potatoes each plant produces was once again impressive. These are my main crop potatoes and I just might start calling them Ole, Reliable. The only downer is that to my great disappointment they did not produce seed this year. Hopefully that will happen next year and I can figure out what prompts it. You know the commercial potato growers know the answer.  
My Norland red potatoes succumbed to the wilt disease, are a fussier potato, and I'm going to try something else next year. The new potato, the Norkotahs were a nice surprise. Some were monsters. This one was almost nine inches.
 This is one hill, so not too bad for production. They do turn to mush when you dig them with a shovel and slice one. I think I'll have to get a potato fork as I plan on raising these next year.
What tickled me was that a couple of the Norkotahs had artistic shapes. I remember as a child picking up potatoes and putting them in a gunny sack. This was at our cousins of which there were eight children. That meant an acre of potatoes or was it a half acres. I don't know but a lot. My uncle was a farmer and would dig the potatoes with the plow of the tractor and we kids would sack them. I'd ask him about those potato seeds but alas, he is gone. Oh the fun of working together and the delight of finding these mis-shappened potatoes. Maybe not so fun in the kitchen  as they are a bit difficult to peel but they sent a child's imaginations a racing. 
Though not the crop we had planned, we would have had potatoes coming out our ears, not literally of course but blessings none the less as more potatoes than we have ever had before.  BLESSINGS!!!

What is your favorite kind of potato for the north? I'm trying to find three kinds of most vegetables.

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