How to Grow Potatoes

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If your family eats a lot of potatoes over the course of a year, then why not plant some? They are easy to grow and they are a great first crop for a new garden bed. They will help break up the soil, so give potatoes a try. As long as the soil is not too wet, you can plant your potatoes.

Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables you can grow. Find some great potato recipes and discover delicious new ways to serve them.

 

 

There’s lots of way to grow potatoes – here’s how we plant ours. Dig your holes as deep as you can and keep your plants 1 1/2 feet apart.

 

 

You want your potato to have at least 3 eyes on it….they don’t have to be in full sprout like in this picture, but they should have 3 sprouts started at least. Some people cut their potatoes, or put two in the same hole. As long as I have 3 eyes or more, I toss that baby in the hole. Plant them sprout (or eye) pointing UP.

Many growers chit their potatoes for several days prior to planting, but I don’t bother to do that. It seems to make no difference in my garden.

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ALL the potatoes you will get off of one plant will grow Between the Seed potato and the surface of the soil. This is Important to keep in mind. This is why you want deep holes and lots of soil or mulch to hill over the plants later.

 

Here’a picture of hilled potatoes.

 

The ONLY thing that will need to be done with these plants is to hill them (I try for 3 times) as the green leaves grow.

 

 

To hill them, just use a hoe and bring the dirt up tight around each plant. Remember, the more and higher you can hill, the more yield you should get.

Several months later, once the tops die down and turn yellow and brown, you can harvest them. You can also cheat and steal a couple potatoes while they are growing.

 

 

After they flower, I sometimes just feel around in the soil and nab a couple.  They taste awesome when they are fresh out of the garden. Don’t disturb the plant too much, and it will just keep on growing. Nab a few potatoes for dinner from several plants instead of taking them all from one.

 

 

In late September, when it is harvest time, use a pitchfork or shovel to Carefully dig up the plant. Using your hands instead will ensure you won’t stab any potatoes. Make sure you get all the potatoes, they are great at hiding! Dig deep to ensure they have all been harvested.

Leave them laying in your garden for a few hours, then turn them all over and let the sun dry the other side. Harvesting on a sunny or at least windy day will help. Do not harvest if it is raining  if you can at all help it.

Never leave your potatoes in the field overnight. After you have gone to all the trouble of digging them up, why chance a cool night which will be detrimental to the tubers?

We sort our potatoes right in the field. They go into groups:

Stabbed or cut potatoes go into one bag – We will use these one first for fresh eating.

Beautiful shape and nice size go into large paper bags – We will use these for seed the following year.

Small, misshapen go into boxes – We will cook these up and feed them off to our chickens and pigs.

Once we get all the potatoes up into the house, we like to leave ours upstairs where it is warm and dry. After a couple of days upstairs, it is time to move them down into our Cold Room.

We make sure we label all the bags, and the Seed Potatoes for the following year are put in a separate spot in the Cold Room.

 

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Is an Egg for Breakfast Worth This?

2 eggs jun 30 08

Here’s a good article about how commercial factories raise chickens in order to sell their eggs. I’ve included the link to the New York Times so please head over there to read the entire article.

 

Supermarket eggs gleam with apparent cleanliness, and nothing might seem more wholesome than breaking one of them into a frying pan.

Think again. The Humane Society of the United States plans to release on Thursday the results of an undercover investigation into Kreider Farms, a major factory farm that produces 4.5 million eggs each day for supermarkets like ShopRite.

I’ve reviewed footage and photos taken by the investigator, who says he worked for Kreider between January and March of this year. In an interview, he portrayed an operation that has little concern for cleanliness or the welfare of hens.

“It’s physically hard to breathe because of the ammonia” rising from manure pits below older barns, said the investigator, who would not allow his name to be used because that would prevent him from taking another undercover job in agriculture. He said that when workers needed to enter an older barn, they would first open doors and rev up exhaust fans, and then rush in to do their chores before the fumes became overwhelming.

Mice sometimes ran down egg conveyer belts, barns were thick with flies and manure in three barns tested positive for salmonella, he said. (Actually, salmonella isn’t as rare as you might think, turning up in 3 percent of egg factory farms tested by the Food and Drug Administration last year.)

In some cases, 11 hens were jammed into a cage about 2 feet by 2 feet. The Humane Society says that that is even more cramped than the egg industry’s own voluntary standards — which have been widely criticized as inadequate.

An automatic feeding cart that runs between the cages sometimes decapitates hens as they’re eating, the investigator said. Corpses are pulled out if they’re easy to see, but sometimes remain for weeks in the cages, piling up until they have rotted into the wiring, he added.

Other hens have their heads stuck in the wire and are usually left to die, the investigator said.

Read the rest of this article here. Please leave a comment here on our site and let us know your thoughts about buying eggs from the big commercial factories.

 

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