"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Thursday, October 1, 2009
A Spudlicious Endeavor
The potatoes have all been harvested and it didn't even rain! Usually when we harvest root crops around the last week in September and into October the weather is fairly miserable... rainy and cold. This time, for a change, we were able to pull all of the spuds in last weekend's sun, how nice.
This year's crop was not nearly as big or numerous per plant as in previous years due to the unseasonably warm summer and the fact that I used a lot less water...just to see what I could get away with. Fortunately, we planted quite a few more than normal with the hopes of supplementing our chickens winter diet with potatoes as well. So in the end we were lucky enough to get our biggest harvest ever, lots of potatoes just not really big ones.
We chose to grow 25 varieties this year because What Good is a Russet Without a Purple Majesty by it's Side!. I was happy with most of them but a few really underperformed: Red Lasota, Red Pontiac, and Adora. Those three will not be included in next season's garden as a couple are now perennial under achievers. One of my new favorite potatoes that we decided to try this year after reading about it on Throwback at Trapper Creek 's blog post Winter stores update is Viking Purple. All of them performed marvelously producing an abundance of uniformly sized potatoes. I will be growing many more of those along with my other two standouts Anna Cheeka Ozette and Russian Banana next spring.
We left our potatoes in the ground for several weeks to harden off after most of the vines had died back, this helps to thicken the potato skins which in turn increases the length of time potatoes can be stored. As we pulled our four rows the potatoes were placed in buckets to help keep the different varieties separate until I had a chance to go through and select the best looking ones for next year's seed potatoes.
The potatoes were then spread out in the dark of our basement to dry for a couple weeks and will eventually be moved into their permanent winter storage room where they will be sorted out on shelves to be used as needed. Our house was built in the 1930's and the basement has an old well in it providing the perfect combination of cold and humidity, good storage conditions for most root vegetables and tubers. We can easily maintain an average temperature of 35 - 50° in our basement from October through April of each year.
I'm looking forward to enjoying lots of potato and kale soup this winter and perhaps I will even find it in my heart to share a few, not as many as I had originally planned, with the chickens. They like their spuds served steamed and warm with no condiments on frigid winter evenings.:)
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.