We had a crop failure with our spring planted potatoes which was very discouraging because potatoes are one of our main storage crops that we sell throughout the season. We were lucky to have potatoes left over from our 2010 season, and that cultivar being Red Chieftain, that we planted early summer and finally dug those this past week and are so excited about the yield! Thank goodness we had Red Chieftains left over from last year because they are an early maturing potato and yielded about 500 pounds from a 300 foot row.
We are thankful to be eating and offering these potatoes to our CSA because potatoes have so many nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. Since these are new potatoes, the skins are very thin and many have torn, and that is what makes new potatoes so INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! New potatoes are potatoes that have been dug without allowing time to cure in the field after the vines have died back. Once potato vines have died back, ideally a farmer leaves the potatoes in the soil a bit, just to give the skins a chance to harden, mainly so the skins are not damaged while digging the potatoes. We needed to dig these potatoes without curing them so that they could be offered for our CSA shares. The farmer can also cure potatoes by storing them at 45 to 50 degree temperatures with a relative humidity of 80 to 95 percent for a couple weeks after digging. Curing them in storage will also allow the skins to harden and those skins damaged will typically heal.
Last week we are very pleased to have completed planting our garlic crop, after which it received a nice rainfall, which will help it sprout. Most folks LOVE the cultivars of garlic we grow because of their intense and strong flavor. These cultivars are known as “Hardneck Garlic” and need to be over wintered to achieve nice sized and flavorful bulbs.
The following are interesting newspaper articles that we have been reading the past few weeks so wanted to share those with you readers:
Click here for a great read by Mark Bittman, one of my favorite provocative and informative writers, about our local food movement in favor of eliminating subsidies to our large farms.
Interesting high school class in regards to teaching students about being targeted for the marketing of unhealthy food. Sounds like something that should be done here in WNC!
What happens when we don’t have enough water to grow food in the desert where a good portion of our food is grown?
Production Note to Self: Planted a late crop of potatoes, Red Chieftians, planted on July 25h and dug on October 31st. Yielding about 500 pounds per 300 foot row. We planted garlic on 10/26 and 10/27.