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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Week 11 Aug 3rd and 6th

Potatoes, Spuds, Taters




This amazing root vegetable grows beautiful bulbs of red, yellow, purple, blue, white and brown. Mostly I dig potatoes by hand: pulling up a plant and then immersing my hand into the soil sifting for "gold". A good yield is harvesting 10# of taters for every 1# planted. I don't know that my yield is quite that high, but it is pretty darn good.


When you look at the potato, you will see little "eyes" or sunken spots on the tuber. It is from these eyes that a potato sprouts a branch. In early May, I set a piece of a potato, about the size of an egg, into the ground and cover it with about 4 inches of soil. Soon, those eyes have set branches and eventually they poke out of the soil. At 6 inches tall, I mound more soil up around the branches and then once again when they are 12 inches tall. This gives a nice soft mound of soil for the potatoes to grow in which makes harvesting easier.


The potatoes you are receiving now are considered "new potatoes". That means that their skin is thin and that they would not store for a long time outside of your fridge. Some potato varieties are good "storage potatoes". These varieties I let stay in the ground until their leaves naturally die. This is an indication that the skins on the potatoes have toughened up and cured so that they will be able to store for up to several months. These potatoes I will not wash for you, as they are best stored unwashed in a dark, cool, dry place.

"The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the twenty-first century included about 73 lb of potato."


A Bird's Eye View
A porcupine has found the weakness in my hero farmer armor...eat right through it. This little spiky animal has consistently eaten 10-20 heads of lettuce a night. We have sat out for 4 consecutive evenings waiting for him to show his face before dark, but alas, I think the crows are alerting him to our whereabouts. They are certainly in cahoots, although I am not quite sure what the crows are getting out of the deal. Maybe the porcupine promised to stay out of the tomatoes if he could get all the lettuce he wanted. Well their little conspiracy is working...bummer!

Dilly Beans, Frozen Beans, Pickles, Zucchini Relish
Let me know if you are interested in aquiring more cucs, zucs and/or beans for preserving!


This Week's Loot: Lettuce? Cucs, Zucs, Green Beans, New Potatoes, Kale, Herbs, Jalepeno Peppers, Corn?

Next Week's Loot: Lettuce? Cucs, Zucs, Green Beans, Carrots, Beets, Green Peppers?

Recipes:
Vegetable Lasagna
Basically just layer every vegetable you get into a pan...beans, squashes, greens, carrots
In between layers add cheese, oil, herbs, sauce...
Bake it covered at 350 for 30 minutes, then remove cover and bake until cheese is bubbly

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