Last week, we completed my most favorite of garden chores: potato harvest!
This year, we grew two different varieties of potatoes: Yukon Gem and Kennebec, both yellow skinned varieties. The previous year, Yukon Gem gave us the best yields, so we wanted to make sure to grow them again. However, the yield wasn’t nearly as much as last years, but the Kennebec did great. These were planted on March 23, from organic seed potatoes purchased from Harmony.
I love harvesting potatoes because it is like an easter egg hunt, but in the dirt! Potato harvesting is best when done as a team effort, and the husband and I make a great team. First, I pull out all the plants and gather what tubers are hanging on. After raking away the mulching straw, he uses a fork to turn the soil. I quickly move behind him, filtering the soil and grabbing up any of the spuds before the next turn of dirt covers them. They get brushed off of the loose dirt, but not washed, and tossed in a basket.
Any potatoes that accidently got scraped or speared are set aside, and are quickly eaten. The rest of them we store in baskets in the pantry, covered with a towel to prevent light from reaching them and turning them green, therefore inedible.
Between the two varieties, we harvested 54 and a half pounds. These will be used mainly for roasted potatoes for weekend breakfasts, but also for mashed, potato salads, mashed, gratins and in soup. My main goal for using this year’s crop: mastering hashbrowns.
Wondering why potatoes are called spuds?
According to Today I Found Out, a “spud” was a “sharp, narrow spade” used to dig up large rooted plants. Around the mid-19th century, first documented reference in 1845 in New Zealand, this tool began lending its name to one of the things it was often used to dig up, namely potatoes.