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Potatoes!

Sorry for the long silence here, but a “strained ligament” in my right knee around Mother’s Day has turned into 6 weeks of anti-inflammatories, constant ice packs, painful stretching and finally a cortisone shot directly behind the kneecap…

— giving you a moment to envision that —

…which in turn translates into near-total neglect of the poor garden.  Yes, AGAIN.

The potato vines finally started to die back last week, so this week became Potato Harvest Time.  You may recall we have two large homemade vertical bins, and one commercially produced growing bag, and this year we planted Rote Erstling, Early Rose and Red Pontiac varieties.  My curiosity got the better of me on Thursday and I dug down into the bag to find potatoes!

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This is the Red Pontiac, about 3 lbs worth.  I wound up discarding about five of them due to pest chewage, but a respectable haul.  The majority of them were near the bottom of the bag, so I think we didn’t get dirt into the bag fast enough to prevent the stems from hardening off.  (Sunlight will cause the hardening, and then they’ll be incapable of producing potatoes all the way up.)

Today we cracked open the vertical bins to see what we could see. This is done by laying a tarp in front of the bin (to catch the dirt)…

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…then unscrewing the front boards down to the last one…

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…then using a potato fork to scoop the dirt out onto the tarp.

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Of the three varieties planted, this is the haul from the Rote Erstling and Early Rose varieties.  SIGH.

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Of course the Red Pontiac harvest sort of makes up for it…

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So next year we’ll keep experimenting with varieties, and if the fates and gods allow, actually not have any health issues to interfere with the timely addition of dirt!

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