Potatoes and other goodies

I prepped and seeded the ground around the septic tanks on Saturday, which took a lot of hours for a relatively small area. The ‘prep’ part of that equation is the vast majority of the effort – since our land was pretty well wooded until we built last year, there’s still lots and lots of roots and other random detritus that I need to rake out before I can do anything with the yard. To up the enjoyment factor, there were swarms of gnats out late Saturday afternoon, and my legs still itch this morning. But it did get done, so now the last remaining area to be tackled is the leach field. Can’t wait.

Yesterday I was able to get my potatoes and chard planted, to go along with the peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, and onions that I planted about a month ago (most of which are coming along very nicely). I always do a standard Bright Lights chard, because I think half the fun of cooking is making your food look nice, and having a garden from which you can pick a rainbow of colors makes it that much easier.

On the potato front, this year I’m going to try German Butterball – “First place winner in Rodale’s Organic Gardening Taste Off. A good choice for roasting, frying, and especially for mashed potatoes. Russeted skin and buttery yellow flesh. Always one of our favorite all-purpose potatoes. Excellent for long-term storage. Very good yields. 100-120 days.” (from SSE). Anything I can fry, roast, and mash is a winner in my book, and it’s a tribute to my German heritage (if it actually originated in Germany…). Maybe a bit of a long season for my neck of the woods, but we’ll see how it goes. I also threw in a couple of redskins from the store that had sprouted. Now I just hope things don’t get so wet that they start to rot – forecast for the next week or so consists of, you guessed it, rain (with one partly cloudy day thrown in so things don’t get too monotonous).

However, since I was starting everything from scratch at the new house, I put in raised beds (in part to mitigate the excessive springtime raininess), and so far they’ve been a charm – in prior gardens I wouldn’t have even been able to walk without sinking, and I’ve had stuff planted for a month! Speaking of that, at some point this week, I’ll have a post or two detailing the current layout of all the gardens and orchard, so everyone can share in my excitement 🙂 Stay tuned!

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