Monday, March 23, 2015

Harvest Monday - 23 March 2015

Back in mid-September we harvested all our potatoes. The total yield for the year was around 40 lbs. as I recall. This is the variety "Kennebec," which is touted as a good keeper besides being delicious. We packed them in a bushel basket filled with shredded paper, and kept them in a cold room (50 F.) of the house. We've been enjoying them all fall and winter. Yesterday we checked on the remaining lot (maybe 8 lbs.), and found they were starting to sprout a little, but still fairly firm. So we took them all, cut them up, blanched them, and packed for the freezer.

We also shredded some using one of the attachments for the KitchenAid. I guess we used too fine a setting, as once we put them in the blanching water it turned into potato glurp. Not good for hash-browns, latkes, etc., but perfect for potato soup! Just the thing for a cold winter, er, spring night.

So this being my first experiment growing potatoes, I was not sure what to expect in terms of storage. I'm guessing 6 months is pretty good.

What's this? Something green??

Before we left for our annual jaunt to Key West, I chitted our leek seeds. Once they had sprouted (took longer than I thought) I put them in soil in an old salad container, covered with a clear lid, and left in the sunroom. By the time we got back (the 17th) they were up. I used the whole seed packet, as I know that onion seeds typically don't remain viable more than a year. This is the variety "Megaton," which is supposed to be early. My plan is to plant them in the row garden pretty close together, harvest some when they are maybe pencil-sized, and let the rest get big. That's the plan, anyway. I've never grown leeks before. And there is a lot of work to do in the row garden to improve the soil--which cannot be done since everything is still covered with snow. I hope these little fellows don't get too big too quickly.

This weekend I also started broccoli (two 6-packs) and some herbs. That's all I've got going. You've no doubt read how delayed everything is this year--it's going to be interesting, and I'm worried that all the preparation chores are going to have to be compressed into a short time period.

Speaking of broccoli, last year I tried planting them every other square instead of every square. The results were much better--big beautiful heads for the first time. I recently read on Cornell University's garden web site (very good, by the way), that broccoli planted close together yields smaller heads but more side shoots, compared to larger heads and less shoots when planted farther apart. I have found this to be true.

We've also begun tapping our sugar maple trees, almost a month later than last year. I'll write more about this in the coming weeks.

I hope you are enjoying more of your garden than we are as we come out of this brutal winter. Thanks to Daphne's Dandelions for continuing to host this forum.


  1. Those potatoes look pretty fantastic. I'll be growing some for the first time this year & I'd be very happy if some of them stored for 6 months! I'm also growing leeks but felt that the seeds were too small to sprout (like I normally do with onions), so I sowed them directly. One of the varieties came up fine, but the other not so much. Maybe next time, I'll try pre-germinating them anyhow to see how it goes.

    And good tip on the broccoli!

  2. Your potatoes have lasted a long time without sprouting. The potatoes from the grocery store only seem to last a couple weeks before sprouting or going soft.

    Leeks are fairly fuss free. They say alternately planting rows of lettuces really cuts down on weeding, which I'm going to give a try.

  3. Shame about the potato gloop! I never grow potatoes for storing. We eat them immediately - the sooner the better. That way the flavour is best. Most of the ones I grow are Early varieties anyway, not intended for storing but for use as "new potatoes".

  4. Good job with the potatoes, I think 6 months is fantastic. I'm trying leeks for the first time in years and hoping for some success, good luck with your efforts.

  5. Wonderful potatoes. We have someone around here that does some sugar trees along the bike path. They just got them up a week ago. I was shocked how late it was, but it has been so cold. I'm a bit worried about the spring garden too. I just hope it warms up soon. Even normal weather would be nice.