The family that digs together…

Digging potatoes

We’re still digging potatoes! Ryan, Corrie and their youngest, Hannah, came out today to salvage some potatoes. There are still a few 50′ (15m) beds of Chieftan and Kennebec. With all the rainy summer and wet ground, a lot of the potatoes were coming up with rotten spots (I heard this from other growers at the farmers’ market as well). With lots of sorting needed, and quite low yield in some rows, I decided to harvest the post-season balance only as needed. I mowed down the whole potato plot and invited anyone who wanted to dig. It looks pretty scary, in this particular spot, grass and other weeds didn’t take long to start taking over, but in the bright sunlight, it seems a lot worse than it is (a bit of tilling and left to overwinter, and it’d be right as rain). To find the treasure, locate a couple of the dried potato stems—they’re short but easy to ID once you know what you’re looking for—then dig in a line! The haul of crisp, red skin-white flesh Chieftan potatoes was pretty good! The fall harvest continues…

6 thoughts on “The family that digs together…”

  1. I’m so glad to read that about the wet summer and rot!

    My second planting of potatoes was the left over storage potatoes, and I blamed it on the seed stock possibly.  Now it seems it was the year!  Reminds me, I should go dig up one last section.

    Won’t have enough stored this year to worry about planting next year.

    • Nate: I’ve grown 3-4 varieties a season so far. This year it was Yukon Gold, Kennebec and Chieftan. They’re all pretty standard. I’m always meaning to try some more exotic ones, blue potatoes, fingerlings, there’s a gourmet variety that’s supposed to be fantastic, called La Ratte. But in the spring rush, it’s been back to basics. It’s definitely worthwhile to try a few varieties, with different maturity dates, and maybe one that’s particularly good for storage, if you’re growing enough to keep. With different tastes, color, starch content, all potatoes aren’t equal!

  2. I’m glad to read the tatties aren’t going to waste. I remember digging leftover potatoes when I was a kid and we didn’t have money to pay the bills. I’m sure my mother thought it a godsend.

  3. It is so rewarding to harvest potatoes. Bless the fruitful land that you have with your children around you.


Leave a Comment