Spuds

I have been working through the garden row of potatoes by digging one hill/tire at a time as we need them. The half of row that did not get enough water early in the season had good spuds but not very big or very many.

Potatoes dug out of a hill.You may recall that these are the Yukon Gold variety, the flesh is yellow tinted and the skins are very thin. They have a buttery flavor.

Most of the time I don’t bother with peeling, just a quick vegetable brush over them. I am now working on the second half of the row, this is the area that did get enough water during the times the irrigation was on and the crop is much better.

The potatoes are bigger and more plentiful and we are enjoying hash browns, oven fries, and potato soup on a regular basis.

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For The Lack Of Water

I had accidentally missed the corner of the garden during the last heat spell. The potatoes were overlooked. The irrigation is turned only when the stock tanks need to be filled and the error with the sprinklers caused the problem.

Half of a row of potatoes wilted and dying.About half of the row are now shriveling and dying. No amount of water will turn around the inevitable.

I’ll give them as much time as possible, but will soon be harvesting the half row and will continue to check sprinklers during the times that I have the irrigation running. (PS as you can see, the pig weeds have no problem growing with or without water, maybe I’m growing the wrong crop)

Half Baked Potatoes

A dish of halved potatoes are ready for the oven.I think a proper name for this dish is baked half potatoes but I like half baked better so here it is!

I had assumed that I was going to be digging baby red potatoes for and evening meal. I was surprised that the reds had grown almost to baking potato size and had to improvise my meal.

Instead of parsley-ed baby reds, I cut the large tubers in half and scored the cut edge.

In a large baking dish (this one was 13 x 11), I dribbled a little melted butter, crushed garlic, onion, parsley and some Parmesan cheese. You can easily add crumbled bacon and some sour cream if you wanted.

The potatoes are layered scored side down on the bottom layers of stuffing ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes when a fork can easily penetrate the spuds.

Each half baked potato comes out with its own toppings already baked into the scored surface and it takes less time than baking them whole.

 

Making the Most of the Garden

First red potatoes of the season.I could not wait for the first potato plant to die before digging in for some baby red potatoes. This was the haul from one tire that surrounds and separates my potato hills.

Some of the potatoes are not so baby, I was surprised by just how much growth there was under a plant that was still trying to produce the underground tubers.

I had just harvested a head of broccoli that weighed about a pound and a half. Since it all headed out at the same time, I needed to come up with a meal that would use up the proliferation. This is where the garden and my freezer come in handy.

A crockpot full of beef, broccoli and mushrooms from the farm.

Large Crockpot Beef Broccoli

Overnight slow cook the toughest cut roast you can find in 1/2 c. soy sauce and 1 cup pulped Yellow Transparent Apple, garlic, onion.

Around noon, remove roast from crockpot and chop into bite size chunks

Reserve a cup of the meat juice from the pot and return chunked roast to crockpot still on low

! 1/2 hours before dinner, raid the garden

I added chopped potatoes, summer squash, kale, tomatoes, the whole pound and a half of broccoli and the handful of Chanterelle Mushrooms that I had left from my walk in the woods.

I mixed the reserved meat juice with 3 Tablespoons of Corn Starch for thickening, a splash of rice vinegar and added it to the crockpot.

Dinner was ready right on time, and my day was not spent in the kitchen.

 

 

Still Harvesting Potatoes

The wild weather of winter has hampered the enjoyment of fresh produce from the garden but hasn’t wiped it out completely.

I still have about five hills of potatoes left in the garden. These are the ones that I planted in the tire stacks, see the blog Potato Update

The tires are stacked around the potatoes as the plants grow. Weeding is kept to a minimum and each hill on average grow more potatoes than basic in the ground planting. Continue reading

After the Corn Harvest

Early in the spring, I had mentioned that my potato digger from last year (me) had done a poor job of getting all the potatoes out of the garden. Many plants were coming up in and around the corn rows.

Because the potatoes are fingerlings and were absolutely delicious last fall, AND I was being lazy; I did not weed out the volunteers that were growing in the corn.

This week, after harvesting the end of the corn, I can now see all the volunteer potato plants that are left after we have been eating the hills that were growing around the edges of the rows.

The plants are very tall, leggy and rather straggly from being smushed in with corn. That sure hasn’t diminished the harvest of great potatoes, but  it won’t be the bumper crop that I had last year.