Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Harvesting my potatoes

I must say, aside from garlic, these were some of the most unforgettable of all the produce I've grown: my new potatoes. They are all already gone. Each and every doughy, delectable spud.

Like I said before, to plant potatoes you cut up a potato from a farm supply store into little pieces. Each piece must have at least one eye. Then, bury them 4 or 5 inches into the ground. Then, wait. Soon, a little purple flower pops up. And then, green leaves grow and grow.

It's not like beans or broccoli or lettuce, where you can watch the vegetable from sprout to plate. It all happens underground. You can't see whether they are there or not, what size they are, or what color they are. You just have to have faith.

Officially, the plant needs to be dead in order to harvest the potatoes. Only one of my plants was dead looking: this one.

But I wanted to some tomatoes in their place ASAP, so I went ahead and pulled them all, even the ones that still looked mostly green.

First, I just pulled the plant out of the ground, and along with the root system came a couple of potatoes. 

After you pull the plant, more potatoes are hanging around the surface just waiting to be plucked.

In total, I harvested about 4 lbs. and donated half that. Here are my beauties:

I boiled a batch and served them as part of a Mother's Day feast for 4. Then, roasted, they helped complete a more casual dinner for 3 this week. They had almost a dough-like quality, like a really dense, buttery muffin. Incredible.

Tip: they lose that special doughyness when served as leftovers. Do your best to eat what you cook (this is not hard). Then cook more fresh later on. The slight doughyness is really what makes them special. You really must experience it in every precious meal you're lucky enough to make with them.

I  cannot wait to do this again next year.


Alan Surratt said...

It's only Memorial Day Weekend...we are planting tomatoes now!

Lisa said...

Fun! I hope they do well. You'll have to keep me posted. Mine have been coming along very slowly unfortunately. Maybe you'll get better weather for them up there...