I don’t know what kind of insane thinking we were engaged in last spring when we planted a full acre of mostly Bintje potatoes along with 100 pounds of Purple Majesty potatoes.
That is the most we have ever planted while knowing full well that I had a 40-hour-a-week job to attend to and working potatoes would have been left up mostly to Jenifer.
Jenifer got overwhelmed with dealing with all the other crops, the hogs, the kids and me, and the potatoes got put on the back burner after about half the crop was harvested.
About six weeks ago, I bush-hogged the weedy mess that was the remaining potatoes in anticipation of seeing if there were potatoes in the ground or if they had all rotted.
A month later, my brother Rick planned a family bonfire-weenie roast in my Dad’s pasture next to our potato field. I crossed the fence to check on the potatoes and was surprised there was new potato foliage 18 inches high.
I dug up some, wrapped them in foil, and threw them in the bonfire. They were awesome! I have never had potatoes that have been aged that long in the ground.
Jenifer started digging potatoes last Friday for market. Levi and I spent about six hours harvesting 450 pounds of potatoes. We still have three or four rows to dig. I think we will have plenty of potatoes for Thanksgiving meals.
One of the things we immediately noticed was that the potato vines we thought were dead had new growth and started putting on new potatoes – marble- to golf-ball size – alongside the mature potatoes. Jenifer said that is what happens when you leave un-supervised potatoes in the ground too long: They make babies.
I came home for lunch Tuesday and Jenifer was boiling some of those small potatoes and frying some sausage.
For supper, Jenifer made hamburger stew with some of my Dad’s ground beef, a quart jar of our canned tomatoes, some of those little potatoes, Sarah Jane and Jamie’s Way of Life Carrots and the very last of our Mississippi Purple crowder peas shelled by Ellie and Levi.