Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Harvesting Potatoes

We decided to harvest our red potatoes today, and some of the purple ones as well.  Here is our beautiful bounty, lovely, aren't they?

You know it's time to harvest potatoes when the once beautiful leaves and stalks look like they have died.  Not pretty, it actually made me wonder if these potatoes would be OK, but Mountain Man assured me this is what you have to wait for.  
It is easy to harvest potatoes, though you need to have a gentle touch.  We had planted the red seed potatoes about 3 inches into the soil.  So we first removed the straw, then gently pulled on the plant stalk, which pulled the potatoes up a bit.  The potatoes may still be attached by a small root string (I am not sure what the technical name is) so you pull gently.  There are also some potatoes that seem to be just laying there in the soil (if you look closely you can see one just peaking through the soil).
These are our first red potatoes!  Ahhh, so proud:)
Another plant; as you can see, some are still quite small...we could have left this stalk in for a bit longer.

And another plant, first tug...
...tug again...

...fresh red potatoes!

Now to harvest the purple potatoes, which was a much larger plot.  However, there were only a couple plants ready to harvest...this was the first purple potato we saw...
...and harvested!

FYI, we planted the purple potatoes on top of the soil and covered them with straw, so they did not require digging into the soil as much as the red potatoes did.

This is our bounty as we carried them from the garden.  Lookin' good, all covered in brown soil, smelling like a garden harvest!

I let them dry a bit, then brushed off the loose dirt. The soil was still moist and smelled rich & somewhat musty, but in a good way.  Then I rinsed them gently with cold water and set them on racks to dry.  Once dried, I will put them in a cool, dry place for storing.

It is important to be mindful of any potatoes that are green.  This is the result of the sun reaching the potato, which results in the development of chlorophyll, and that produces a poison called solanine.  We will have to cut the green off this potato, and if it goes to deep, discard it. 

Potatoes like to be stored in a cool, dry place.  Away from the sun.  We don't have a root cellar yet, but we will be sure these beauties continue to be edible for some time!  We may not have gotten a lot of potatoes, but enough to make us happy:)

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

New potatoes, nothing better. I've never had purple potatoes. I'll expect a blog post on the taste, Ha!

Dad/Pepere said...

Potaaatoes...potahhhtoes...who cares! They look great! Hugs.

Lise said...

I will be sure to let you know the taste of the purples Patti:)

Thanks dad, can't wait to eat them!