Potato Record

Fall is a busy time of year. Stories have been flitting through my brain, but for the past month, by the time I sat at the computer at the end of a long day, I’ve not had the pep necessary to commit the story to the blog.

Today was a good case in point. I had to be at the Tapiola restaurant this morning at 8:00 for a quick breakfast, after which several of us on the fire department drove around the neighborhood and cleaned the chimneys for some of our elderly neighbors. We finished up around noon, after which I stopped by my friends home and held the ladder for him while he cleaned his chimney. Then up the road to work with 2 of my neighbors who I have hired to help move the logs from the powerline project (more on that in another post.) After that, I headed home, had a quick lunch (at 3:00!) and then Alice and I got a full batch of ripe tomatoes going in the dehydrator.

I’m pretty tired, but felt the need to get a story or two off my chest.

potato1We dug our potatoes about 3 weeks ago now, and had a spectacular harvest. We’d had a spate of frosty nights such that the potato tops were dead and crispy. Our technique is for the best looking of the two of us to dig a spade shovel deep along once side of the potato row, then the same thing on the other side of the row. I pulled the shovel back each spadeful, and Alice went behind me and pulled the potatoes out of the ground and tossed them onto the tarp. I’d then go behind her with my fingers in the dirt to find any stragglers she missed.

potato2Once all the potatoes we could find were on the tarp, they got their hour of sunshine. Then we sorted the eating potatoes from the tiny ones we keep until next season for planting. The eating potatoes went in double bagged paper grocery sacks, and into the storage part of our basement. I weighed each bag before I put them in the basement, and this year we got 197#, a record by about double.

I credit our spectacular harvest to two things. We had a nice amount of rain this year, and Alice really hit her stride with the potato bugs. We worked together on the bugs at the beginning of the summer, but I drifted away and she seamlessly took over. We have a small plastic cup we keep water and soap in, and Alice methodically walked the rows daily, putting the bugs into their soapy graves.

She kept up with it, and it really paid off. We’ve never had potato foliage like we had this year, and were curious to see of the underground part was equal to the above ground. The answer was yes. Alice and I both enjoy the potato harvest. We call it, “digging for gold.”

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