Kitchen Garden

New Potatoes

New Potatoes

The idea of new potatoes is to harvest them two weeks after the flowers are finished. This is what they look like with thin skins and creamy potato goodness inside.

I boiled a pound for dinner and served with butter, salt and pepper. Keeping it simple with condiment flexibility is a characteristic of our kitchen garden. Diners can take cooked vegetables and finish them how they will.

When I worked at the home, farm and auto supply store I bought seed potatoes as soon as they came in. Planting is within a radius of Good Friday, although not necessarily on the day. I planted early this year. A few years back rodents ate our potatoes in the ground so I moved them to a container. Container growing is working, likely helped by the two stray cats who hang out in our garden.

Our main sources of potatoes are from our garden and a bartered fall share of the community supported agriculture project. When there are potatoes we eat them and seldom buy outside spuds. We follow the season.

The soil in the containers needs recycling for next year. There are too many roots and not enough nutrients. This year the containers were more than half empty when I planted. As the vines grew I added more soil and compost until the container was full. The result was potatoes grew in layers and there were more of them in each container.

The photograph represents the yield from one container, about five pounds. There are four containers this year so they will last until the fall share begins in September. Together they should keep us in potatoes until Thanksgiving after which we’ll wait for more next year.

In addition to boiling potatoes, I’ll roast some with other root vegetables and onions when they are available. We make potato salad, escalloped potatoes, leek and potato soup, parsley potatoes, mashed potatoes, and add them to vegetable soup.

The harvest of new potatoes is another marker in the gardening season. Such markers help us keep our sanity in the chaotic world of the coronavirus.

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