Are you chitting those potatoes?

chitting potatoes_closeup

Are you chitting your potato seeds yet? Careful how you say that! You can get potato seeds at the local nurseries now if you plan to grow them this year. Potato seeds are actually smaller potatoes that you plant. Don’t use grocery store potatoes as most of them have a sprout inhibitor on them to reduce sprouting which is what we want.

chitting potatoes

Chitting is letting your potatoes grow those little ‘eyes’ out. Put them in indirect sunlight. I use egg cartons to hold them so the eyes don’t break off. After they grow ‘eyes’, you should plant them this month-April. Chitting potatoes now will let you harvest them 2-3 week earlier when harvesting them later in the late summer.

This year, I’m growing them in ‘potato bags’ instead of a garden bed. My friend, Janet had fabulous luck with them last year-in fact she got more than I did in a raised bed so I’m trying her way this year besides it opens up another bed for me to grow other veggies in.

For more info on growing and chitting your potatoes, go to my original post ‘Growing and Chitting Potatoes’

Fall harvest season is full blast right now!

Harvest season is full blast right now. Started out with our Home Grown New Mexico ‘Jam On’ class where we made a Strawberry-balsamic jam and a terrific Blueberry jam.

Himrod grapes-yum!

Then the grapes ripened-ate lots and dried some into raisins for later.

bread n butter pickles

The cucumbers ripened so fast I was making lots of pickles. First I made bread and butter pickles, then cornichon pickles and then dill pickles-crock, refrigerator and canned. Must have about 30 jars+ and now the 5 gallon crock is full where I am fermenting some with salt brine. After I was bored with pickles,  I made some sweet pickle relish which I haven’t tasted yet. Will probably make more of that with the giant cucumbers I miss when looking for little ones. So far I’ve made pickles with Jody, Nick and Elodie.

peach jam and raisins

Then I bought 20 lbs of peaches from the Farmer’s Market and Mernie and I made 3 different peach jams.

9tomato sauce-finished in bags

Now the tomatoes are coming in and I’m starting to make the raw tomato sauce that I freeze in gallon plastic freezer bags. Later in November after I recover from harvesting, I will take them out of the freezer and make different pasta sauces like puttenesca, marinara, penne alla vodka and good ole spaghetti sauce.

 

Potatoes dug out just in the nick of time!

Potatoes dug out just in the nick of time!

Soon I will harvest potatoes too.

2013-part of the fall honey harvest

and we will harvest honey from the bee hive.

Of course then there is all I take to the Farmer’s Market that I harvest every week-tomatoes, eggplants, shishito peppers, beans, tomatillos and sometimes rhubarb, kale and chard when I have the room on the tables. Phew! Busy time of year!

The best part of it all is I haven’t bought any vegetables in the store since early July and I’ll have a full pantry for winter when harvest season is done.

Potato update!

First thing in the morning with a cup of coffee looking over the potatoes-time to WAKE UP!

My potatoes are growing so fast that I can’t keep up on burying them. Besides that, I don’t have enough dirt to bury them either as some of them are already 4 feet tall. I wonder how farmer’s grow potatoes in fields? I mean who has soil three feet deep to bury them?

Potatoes are corralled, straw put around potatoes and cardboard put on inside edges to keep light out

I built a temporary corral around the potato patch with small green t-posts and some chicken wire I had laying around.  I then cut some cardboard boxes open and lined the corral with them. Afterwards I got some straw to put inside the corral to cover the potato plants. I put the straw top of the soil which is already 18 inches deep. The corral keeps the straw from blowing away and the potatoes will (hopefully) grow inside the straw where it is dark.

Here are what potato flowers look like. After flowering the plant starts producing potatoes. I can’t wait! My friend Mernie thinks I might get around 150 lbs of potatoes! I might have to go to the Farmer’s Market as the POTATO LADY!

Fingerling Potatoes-May 7

The potatoes I planted Mar. 30 are doing great. Most of them came up with a few exceptions. Not bad for my first try. Of course the proof will be if I get some nice potatoes. Right now they are about 8 inches tall and when they hit 10 inches I will start the hilling process. Basically every ten inches or so I will add soil slowly filling the trench and burying the base of the potato plant I started with. I thought I would use straw for the hilling process but decided to stick with dirt because it is so dry here and I thought the straw would probably blow away anyways. Besides when I dig them out it will be like an Easter egg hunt! Since this is my first year at trying to grow potatoes, I am excited about what might happen.