08 Oct Small Potatoes
I feel like someone somewhere once said “It doesn’t matter if you start small, just start.”
Part of my dream is to have our own small farm – with a focus on soil health, species diversity, and natural systems. I want to have sheep, cows, pigs and chickens, all working symbiotically together. I want to build a passive solar greenhouse so we can grow our own fruits and vegetables through all four seasons at 7200 feet (2200 m) above sea level.
We’re not there yet. But I’ve been encouraged to start small.
So this past growing season, on the tiny deck of the tiny backyard of our rental house, with the advice of a good friend who has her own farm, I threw some sprouted potatoes in soil in 15 gallon fabric planter pots. (These planter pots from Amazon to be exact.)
Do you know what a potato plant looks like? I didn’t. But now I do!
If you don’t, Google it, I forgot to take pictures. It just looks like a green plant growing out of the ground. It actually gets pretty large rather quickly. Once harvest time comes, you wait for the green to die off and then you dig up your potatoes.
After what seemed like a long 5 months wondering what was happening below the surface of the soil, we dug up our first ever harvest of potatoes. It wasn’t much. But there it was! And in any case, I think a little bit of potatoes are better than no potatoes. Sure enough, the few little sprouted potatoes we had planted had grown, flourished, and given us more potatoes. All in this limited 15 gallon planter pot.
My boys had a great time digging up the potatoes. It was exciting every time one popped out of the dirt as we dug through it. It was like searching for hidden treasure!
I couldn’t wait for dinner, I washed them, sliced them up, tossed them with olive oil and spices, and threw them in the air fryer.
In a matter of 5 minutes after coming out of the air fryer, my boys had devoured every single slice.
“This one’s like a potato chip!” “These taste like french fries!” “Can I dip them in ketchup?”
My little food critics exclaimed. It was a delightful success!
From soil to table it may have been 30 minutes altogether. But it was so worth it.
I love that my boys now know what potato plants look like (something that took me 34 years of life to discover). I love that they were able to pick them out of the dirt and then eat them almost immediately, talk about a delicious reward.
“Next year let’s plant more!” exclaimed my middle.
Oh yes, we definitely will. Hopefully by next year we will have our land, our small farm, and our garden going. We also had tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, rosemary, thyme, cucumber and mint growing in fabric pots on the deck. Each just producing a little bit.
This year was a learning experience. But it wasn’t small potatoes to us. It was proof that we could actually do this, with perseverance and faith.
We dipped our toes in and loved the result. Next year, we make the dive!