For optional music for this post, please check out this song – Digging my Potato, by the Seatbelts. For further immersion, imagine the hot, Australian sun bearing down on your back while listening to this song.
Hey, I know it’s been a while since I last posted. I underestimated how much energy my previous job took out of me.
It’s been terribly dry in Australia recently, so the soil has been baked solid. Thankfully, there was a little drizzle last week, so I was able to get some gardening done! I turned an entire bed of the garden and even managed to plant some seeds!
That being said, I had noticed some significant growth in the potato patch, so I decided it was time to reap what I had sown. I was planning to make a stew for dinner, so the timing was perfect.
I can totally sympathise with Almanzo Wilder when he complained about potato digging in Farmer Boy. Harvesting potatoes is difficult even at the best of times and it’s particularly hard when your soil is as firm as mine got this summer. If nothing comes up once you’ve stuck the fork in the bed and turned the soil a little, you kind of just have to get on your knees and use your hands to feel around for the potato lumps in the soil.
Plus, you have to be careful with the fork when turning the soil – stab too hard and you might just stab right through a perfectly good potato and ruin it, which I managed to do twice. It’s a lot of work!
Still, I did manage to get a little harvest out of my potato patch. Each plant produced about four potatoes, which isn’t very much, but look at the size of these things! For the record, the bowl in the picture is one of those huge ramen bowls, which gives you an idea of how big the potatoes are.
I’d planted my patch out with Royal Blues and Pontiac potatoes. These are the Royal Blues, beautiful purple potatoes with firm white flesh that’s perfect for stewing, baking, mashing… pretty much anything you want to use them for. The Pontiacs aren’t big enough for harvest yet.
I’m going to make a beautiful cream stew with these tonight! I can’t wait to see how they do!