Do you remember those beautiful potato plants I was bragging about? The ones Jamie and I planted in the dirt that was given to me by a friend? My first potatoes? Before we left for our Peru adventures, these were substantial plants. The leaves had some tiny holes due to a flea beetle infestation, but they were still a good looking mini crop. Well, look at what I came home from Peru to find! All dead!! Nothing but weeds and limp potato stems. What happened?
Jamie and I decided to salvage what we could, and dig up the potatoes, if there were any. This teeny potato is the first one we found. Pathetic. I'm a potato farmer failure!
But, undeterred by the disappointing size of the first potato excavated, Jamie kept digging and found some potatoes of a respectable size.
Hey, that one looks big enough to brag about!
We tossed the dead stems to the side so Mrs. Hall could search for worms in soil clinging to the roots. It was interesting to see the tiny potatoes clinging to the stem near the soil surface. If the plants hadn't died, they would have made many more potatoes.
We washed our harvest in the garden hose, and were surprised to see that the potatoes were pink! How cute! I think they are new potatoes, and weren't mature enough to develop the brown skin I was expecting.
Not an overly impressive harvest I guess, but considering it was only eight dead plants in a small bed, I think we did okay.
I was out of town for several weeks for work, so I didn't get to eat any of our pink spuds until recently. Look how nice they look on the inside! Just like a real potato, right?
How best to perform my first taste test? Cooked in butter, of course! Delicious.
Since I hadn't been grocery shopping for weeks, it was slim pickings around our place when we got back from our vacation and work adventures. Fortunately, June's work ethic is solid, and she never stopped laying eggs even though I wasn't there to encourage her. And the bowls of pink potatoes waited patiently. Potatoes and eggs have were the featured items on our menu for several days. I perfected what I call "huevos and potatoes"- potatoes and vegetables cooked in butter, and then a few eggs fried in the middle of the pile. I didn't get any complaints or offers to pick up take out even after serving huevos and potatoes for several nights in a row.
Potatoes, even when they die early from an un-diagnosed condition, were still worth the little effort it took to grow them. I may have to add them to my garden again next year. Just imagine how good they would be if I manage to keep them alive!