Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bucket O potatoes

We are now getting potatoes---very nice potatoes at that. Only one so far has been "nibbled" on and we will just have to send our Jack Russell on patrol in that spot more often :-)

Considering that we had a late, late, very bad frost, which nipped back the growing tips, all the potatoes came back fine from under their piles of leaves and went on to produce. We probably won't get as many potatoes as we could or should have because of the frost and then drought---but I am pleased with those we are getting. Very decent size with some "whoppers" for baking. If we had watered them also, I am sure we would have gotten way way more than we will. However---we do not have a well and so we pay to water. My bill for water one month was more than the electric bill for running the a/c in my house---so we quit watering. Considering we were using soaker hoses---we were a bit surprised at the amount.
The potatoes never did get any of that water anyways---purely because we knew watering so much would get expensive (we just didn't realize HOW expensive). We were just trying to get beans, which we had a very large section of, and keep alive the artichokes and tomatoes. No matter though---it didn't work completely. Yes, we have kept things alive---however it is unlikely we will be canning this year. There has only been enough at any one time to eat for dinner that night-- but not to can. Maybe if we get some more rain in the next month a few of the plants may kick in and produce well towards the end---but we aren't really holding our breath.
No matter----we did learn that we love our leaf mulch and will try and con the city into bringing us, and our neighbors, more this next fall for use in mulching potatoes and other garden plants this next year. Underneath some of the areas, the leaves are starting to really break down into some beautiful leaf "mold" that should do amazing things for our soil. With the advent of fall, and hopefully rain, we will till up a few of the spots that got a bit out of hand (too few leaves and too many weeds) and then over seed everything with a fall cover crop. Maybe by the time we have "optimum" rain---we will have the most amazing soil and will end up with a jungle of produce for canning and giving away.
Potato wise we have been lucky here this year. Stuart and Gabrielle in Brittany have been getting more than their usual rain for this year (just like our family in Texas) and their potatoes---along with their neighbors---ended up with scab because of the wet soil that probably never has dried out in between rains. Well, each year is a challenge now isn't it. When you consider my last post, and this years weather--- I don't have to wonder to much about why some people just didn't want to stay being farmers. People should have more respect for farming----it's somewhat stressful. Next time you go to market and buy berries or tomatoes---thank that person for sticking it out. They need a pat on the back once in a while.

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