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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Harvesting potatoes

The weather did cooperate here today with no rain. Beautiful weather here, not like the east coast with the hurricane. God bless those folks in the path of hurricane Irene. Much destruction from what the news is showing. But we got an early start and got our potatoes dug. I think we all here were pleasantly surprised with how well they did. We only planted 2 rows of Kennebecs about 150 ft long and 1 row about 75 ft of Red Pontiacs. I was very happy with the fact that they were all really big, in all total maybe a half bushel was considered small and would be a pain to peel if ya chose to. I plan to serve more taters with the peel on as that retains more of the nutrients that lay just under the skin.  We got 15 bushels total. About 12 of the Kennebecs and 3 of the Red Pontiacs. A bushel of potatoes weigh 60 lb per bushel so we had roughly 900 lb of taters and cash out lay was maybe $35. Not bad at all in my way of thinking. We have a special plow that goes on the tractor 3 point hitch to dig the taters with which beats all to hell the old way of using a tater fork and lots of back breaking work. The tractor drives up the row and IF the driver is watching his stuff the plow will be in the middle of the row and break it open and taters can be picked up behind the tractor. This is the way we did it. There are places in the one end of the garden where the taters were that I noticed the ground was very heavy clay like soil and ALL the taters in that lil section of the row had rotted. Maybe a 6 ft section. This is the place where my dad alas had his tater patch and raised a lot of taters. We did go back to the old original way of planting this year too. It was Jason's idea. For some reason we had got to putting in the fertilizer and mixing it in the bottom of the row by dragging a chain thru the row. Then drop the potato pieces and cover it all over with dirt. This year we dropped the taters about 1 ft apart in the trench we made with the tiller, I dropped about 3 tablespoons full of 19-19-19 fertilizer between each hill of taters and covered them over as usual.  This method seemed to have resulted in more good size taters for us. Some times the old ways are still the best. So from now on I think this is how we will plant taters. After we got them dug we took them to Jason's house and poured them out on the floor of an outbuilding to dry for a few weeks till the weather cools and then they will be put in our bins and stored in the cellar. I am so thankful we have enough taters to keep us supplied well till next summer. I couldn't help but make a big kettle of potato soup fer lunch today after we got them all dug. Really tasty with red taters, peel left on cubed up with lots of onion and garlic in there. Yummy!
My big plans were to get my old laying flock butchered off tomorrow but I really don't think that is going to happen. My arthritis is flaring really bad, especially in my wrist. I really don't think I could pluck a chicken if I was real hungry. Jason had agreed to do all the cutting up of the chickens if we could pluck em. Hopefully next weekend my joints will feel better. I think I will dig out my splint for my arm and just splint my right wrist (its the worst) and give em a rest for a few days and see if that will help some. I think maybe the past 6 weeks or so of all the prepping stuff and canning has caught up with my body.
I need to brag just a lil bit. My youngest son Rob is now a proud home owner. He bought his first house in Elko Nevada this past week and he and Amoy  are moving in this weekend. They are beyond excited. And we are so happy for them. We are really proud of his accomplishments this past year. After college he landed a good job, already got a promotion, and now at the age of 25 has a house of his own, all in less than a year. We sure do wish them lots of success and happiness in the years to come. Kinda makes me a proud momma.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



Deb said...

YEA for Rob! And I wish I was there for the tater soup. All ya'll must have green thumbs.

MAFW said...

Have I mentioned the taters are my favorite food? I planted two tubs of patio container potatoes and got enough for one mess. They were Yukon Gold, so I mashed them and they were really good!. Some kind of bugs got the tobacco worm beans. I did keep half of the seeds you sent me cause hopefully I will have my own garden plot next year.