Monday, September 17, 2012
Potatoes: The Treasure Hunt
Some days, it's hard to tell the difference between what is work and what is play.
Take digging potatoes, for instance. Surely smiles like this don't come from hard work...
And laughter of this variety can't come from chores... can it?
Ah, but maybe it can.
There are some wonderful opportunities out there for convincing children that work really can feel like play, if only it's approached with the right attitude. Or if it's turned into a wrestling match for the biggest potato pulled out of the ground.
We've never grown potatoes before. This whole Digging Potatoes experience was a splendid one, for all three of us. It's a veritable treasure hunt, and one that requires Two Little Girls (and their Momma) to be elbow-deep in soil. And any job that involves a good bit of getting dirty is bound to be welcomed.
I'd love to offer you all a few great tips and hints for growing and harvesting potatoes, but I've got nothin'. We're brand new at this, and from all I have read, we did everything all wrong. The skins are thin because you're supposed to withhold water for a couple of weeks (someone should have told that to those rain storms that keep rolling through in the afternoons.) You're supposed to wait until the plants die back after frost to harvest, except that more than half of our potatoes already weighed over a pound and a half each, and I can't see letting them get any bigger. It'll only take one potato to feed all four of us at that rate.
So while they won't store in the cellar long, and they aren't anywhere close to being the perfectly shaped potatoes you find at the store, I'm sure we'll happily be eating baked potatoes and home-fries for a few weeks to come, anyway.
And next year, I'll read about harvesting potatoes before I decide to dig them all out of the ground. ;-)