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27 July 2012

We Learned How to Grow Potatoes - Now it is Time to GATHER!

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So on Wednesday I showed off my first potato harvest of the season in [Gathered].  
Those potatoes looked pretty beautiful didn't they?

What I didn't show you was the process behind the gathering.  
It was decidedly UNbeautiful, but very rewarding :)

In fact, it is quite ugly to be frank.  You have to wait until the potato stems have dried and and 
almost completely withered before harvesting and it is an ugly sight.  Add the cobwebs and well...?

It's ugly.

...but LOOK at that cluster of potatoes!

All that from one little slice of potato!

Here's how it works...

After harvesting the buckets of potatoes from the garden, I throw the stems in the compost and we start digging in, eating up all those potatoes. When I am cutting potatoes for a meal, I take off a little bit more generous of a slice than I normally would from any of the ends that have prominent buds.  In this case, the buds have already started growing.  (That never happens in YOUR pantry, now does it??)

Leave those little pieces out so they dry a little and form a skin on the exposed cut.  It takes just a day or two and then they are ready to plant.   The only thing to watch out for is a moldy potato.  Once in awhile you will get a few like this:

Toss those and plant the rest!  When I'm harvesting the potato plants, I sometimes find these little weasely guys too.  
Those go right back in the soil from whence they came and will most likely form their own little plants. 

 The cut ends of the potatoes that have had a chance to chit (or dry) go right back in the tires too for another round of growing by fall.  
In a few short months, the second harvest should come rolling in right on schedule!

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