November 29, 2020

The Great Potato Experiment

 We've become fans of YouTube and we follow the real-life adventures of several modern-day "homesteaders" who are trying to live a simpler life. We laugh, sometimes, as they talk about living "off the grid" in a video obviously produced using modern means. Mostly, though, the videos are about how to do various things and we either emulate or improve upon the ideas we like. Growing potatoes in five-gallon buckets is one idea I found fascinating. 

The year 2020 was not a good year to begin gathering gardening supplies. I searched for food-grade five-gallon buckets everywhere and ended up purchasing grow bags online. I figure I'll be able to once again find the buckets about the time the grow bags wear out but spending the money twice is annoying. I did discover the grow bags work fine.

Having obtained the potato grow bags late in the season, I none-the-less planted a potato that had sprouted just to see if it would grow. It did, and what a fine looking plant it became. As the nights cooled, I moved the grow bag into the greenhouse. Yesterday, we decided to dump the bag and see how things had progressed in there. 

We didn't know what to expect other than if the plant had produced potatoes, they wouldn't be of any size. Planting a potato in October guaranteed that. What was a surprise was the number of tiny potatoes with the potential to develop into something edible. We called the experiment a success. There were seventeen little spuds in the bag, and of course, I dropped several before I took a snapshot. 

Next spring I'll plant five of the grow bags with potatoes and see what happens. With any luck, I'll get enough to fill a pantry shelf with quart jars full of processed russets. That would be a good thing.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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