Plugging Away at the Potatoes
Then you hill the plants with soil to keep the root zone cool and give the potatoes a place to form along the stems. Then you wait and hill some more.
Along the way you rob some of the hills for new potatoes, Or dig some too to see how the new varieties are faring.
Finally when the vines die back you wait a bit so the potatoes can cure and toughen up their skins for long-term storage and then you start harvesting.
This might be a good time to mention that we trade work here on the farmstead. My hubby and I are lone wolves, and of course, our get is a lone wolf too. Lately I have not been churning any butter because my daughter is doing all the churning in lieu of vacuuming. Now I think that is a fair trade and so does she, so that’s how it goes. She opted to stack all the roof shakes too after she was done with all the nail pulling, and transport the kindling to the kindling stack in order to get out of digging potatoes. Seemed fair to me. Big jobs loom differently in different minds. Things have a way of working out too, one night her dad came home from work and took pity on her and helped her. So she took pity on me and helped me haul in a few wheelbarrow loads of potatoes before the rains hit.
So to that end, I have been digging the potatoes by myself, and while I enjoyed previous years of digging with a partner, I like being by myself, working at my own pace. I learned long ago, not to dig more each day than I want to transport to the barn in one evening. The weather beat me though, I have 1 1/2 rows yet to dig, but I have the bulk done. It’s too wet to dig those last rows right now, or I risk ruining my soil structure.
There is just something about seeing all those potatoes that brings on thoughts of winter meals (besides having a fire every night now), and me having the time to cook them since it is getting dark soooo early. For dinner last night I made a flank steak roulade stuffed with kale, chard, celeriac, carrots and onion with smashed potatoes and milk gravy on the side. I know that sounds like some fancy meal, but it cooks fast (the vegetable prep takes longer), and was a nice change of pace from all that pesky summer food we’ve been eating.
How about you, have you made the transition to cooler weather type meals yet?