You may recall that these are the potatoes that I did not plant this spring. These are the volunteer plants that came up from the potatoes that were not completely dug up last year. I blame the digger (me) for not paying attention when harvesting the crop last year.
But there were a few extenuating circumstances.
First, these were free potatoes. Last year on Father’s Day Weekend we visited a feed store for Ugly Tie Days. It’s a promotion where you turn in an ugly tie and get a $5. gift certificate. Before you fall off your chair laughing, remember I just love a good deal.
We purchased a few things and spent way more than the $5. certificate and was headed out the door to leave. Near the front door was a bushel basket with a sign that said FREE. It was the very last of the fingerling potato sets. I almost walked right past, it was really late in the season to even start potatoes, and these looked terrible. They were shriveled up dregs of real potatoes. I glanced at the sign again and thought what the heck, I had a spot in the garden that needed something planted and just hadn’t gotten around to that space yet.
I planted the spuds as soon as I got home. I didn’t bother cutting them down to ‘eyes’. I didn’t even think they would grow. Boy was I wrong. Not only were they prolific, they were delicious!
I dug potatoes for many, many meals. I begged neighbors to please take a bag full of potatoes, I even delivered a few. Visitors were given potatoes as parting gifts. I took pounds and pounds to the Senior Center in town. It was getting late in the season and I still had hills to dig.
We had a hard freeze set in and the top couple inches of dirt froze solid. I thought for sure that I had killed off the remaining potatoes. Two weeks after the cold, I checked on one of the hills and the topmost potatoes were mush.
I called them squirt potatoes. When I picked them up they would squirt potatoes juice at me. Surprisingly, under the squirt potatoes, I found solid potatoes and continued to harvest well into December.
Consequently, I must have missed some viable potatoes because this spring I kept getting volunteers popping up. They are scattered through the corn patch and around the squash. I just didn’t have the heart to pull them as I did the weeds.
My FREE deal just keeps on giving.