Potatoes, they are delicious. I especially love the fingerling type because it is like having mini baked potatoes. Who needs a main course when instead you can have a big ol’ pile of fingerling potatoes, some butter and maybe a little sour cream!? My love for eating potatoes is now only overshadowed by my awe in how they grow……seriously, fascinating. Well, if you have ever wondered where those cute tiny darlings come from, you’re in for a treat!
Up until this season we have not been able to grow fingerling potatoes because we have such aggressive grasses. Because we refuse to use chemicals to abate it, the grasses would overtake the potato seedlings before they could grow. Over the winter we built some raised beds in the front acreage, perfect for potato growing. I was excited about finally growing some organic potatoes, but I didn’t expect to be totally into it. It is a miracle, better than a bedtime story!
Here’s how it goes down; I started by chopping up organic fingerling potatoes, making sure that I had an “eye” on each piece. After I gave them a couple of days to dry out I dug a deep trench in the planting bed. I planted each piece with the “eye” facing upwards. I covered them, watered them and waited for them to break ground.
Now here is the coolest part……the leaves that appear on the plant as it grows are actually going to be the adorable, delicious potatoes! No shit! For real! So every couple of weeks I go out to the bed and hill the plants with more dirt. I cover several inches every time. The hills have gotten so high that it required adding an additional row of concrete block to act as a retaining wall. I will continue to do this until the plants are no longer growing taller. By the end of this process, the mound around each plant will be about 12-15 inches and all of those buried leaves will be busy turning themselves into food! I know! I know! I can feel your sense of awe and wonder! That was exactly my reaction when I realized where fingerling potatoes come from! Seriously, who cares about finding out about the birds and the bees? This news was like finding out where babies come from x 100!
Anyone who thinks farming is boring has obviously never planted fingerling potatoes.