We are getting our seed potatoes ready for planting! This year we are planting some old standards and a few new additions.
Potatoes are one of our stalwart crops here at Upper Meadows. We plant by hand and harvest by hand. This is a ton of work, or as most often the case, several tons of work when we harvest. The attention to detail is part of what insures a great crop.
The first step starts all winter long when we burn firewood in our kitchen stove and the other stoves here on farm, as well as when we were boiling down maple syrup. It is the wood ash that becomes a valuable material. We cut the potatoes, making sure the pieces are not smaller than a ping pong ball and that each piece has at least two eyes. These are the two critical criteria for a good plant start. Next we dip the cut potatoes in wood ash to cauterize the wound and provide a bump of micro nutrients right at the new potato root zone.
Frankly, I can’t wait for the first baby potatoes and we hope to dig the first ones in July. We are scheduling planting parties and it is a great opportunity for volunteer help. This year we are planting Caribe (purple skin, white flesh), Dark Red Norland (dark red skin, white flesh), Red Gold (red skin, yellow flesh), Sangre (brilliant red skin and bright white flesh), All Blue (blue skin, blue flesh), Kennebec (yellow skin, white flesh), Purple Majesty (purple skin, purple flesh), Purple Viking (purple and pink skin, white flesh), Island Sunshine (yellow skin, yellow flesh) and All Red (red skin, red flesh). This comprises 2,800 pounds of seed potatoes, which will plant close to two acres of potatoes.
I cruised the fields today and expect that we’ll be getting our potatoes in ahead of schedule this year. Thanks to Bonnie, Megan, Steve, Loren, and Deliska for leading the charge and cutting seed!