When I talked to her this spring, my grandmother told me to be sure to plant some potatoes. I’m glad I did. I bought a bag full of tiny starter potatoes in April, and a few weeks later, I planted them.
My 1962 Time Life Encyclopedia of Gardening recommends digging up half the crop early to enjoy “new” potatoes. I took these shots around the beginning of August when we harvested about half the plants. Here’s our haul:
After digging them all up, and washing them thoroughly, we sliced them up and then roasted them with olive oil, rosemary, and lots of salt and pepper. Here’s a shot of the finished product:
Finally, I took this picture while Charlie and I ate dinner on the back porch:
It is a cliche to claim that backyard vegetables somehow taste better, but these potatoes really seemed different. I could rub the red peel off with my fingers. I swear these remained moist even after roasting them. Within a few hours of digging up these plants, we were eating them. Anything at Giant Eagle is at least 3 or 4 days old, maybe more.
We dug up the rest of the potatoes at the beginning of October. I didn’t take any pictures and this time my wife mashed them up with lots of chives (from the garden) and sour cream (from the grocery store).
I’ll definitely plant red potatoes again next year. The yield was fantastic, and the rabbits and squirrels seemed to ignore them.
Next year, I’ll experiment with a no-dig method I read about where the potatoes get buried in mulch, and over the season, more mulch gets added repeatedly to encourage more growth. I dumped more mulch over my plants this year after I got a tip from a colleague, and that seemed to encourage more tubers to form.
In summary, potatoes are neat.