Sunday, June 19, 2016

Potato Harvest

Following heat that so ruthlessly sucked moisture from the earth and gardener's innate reluctance to water, Potato harvest has come very early. One argument is to leave the little darlings in the ground until the stalks of Potato are truly frazzled to the point of kindling. Your gardener has practiced that technique in the past, but the thing is when the earth cracks open due to dryness, which it has done, a population of very small four legged, grey and tan, furry pests with little white tummies and long tails gain access to a feast that calls for so massive a celebration it can be heard by the Owls in Central Time. And should ever it rain again, as it well might, the suddenly damp soil with temperatures in the nineties encourages the sooty agues that can be so distressing to look at, as well as the borer worm that blemishes Potato flesh, and there's a grub that hides from moles by nesting inside the Potato..... The list is long and depressing.

Ideally the rain should have continued on a more regular basis through at least the middle of next month, the temperatures should have remained in the mid to upper seventies, light winds, low humidity, none of which is ever going to actually happen which makes wishing it pointless. I'd argue that the mid March planting of Potato worked well this year. We didn't get the horrible frost, it was patchy and the Potato sprouts deep in their perfect trenches were easy to protect. Of the varieties of Potato, and I do have a list somewhere, I have for good few years been veering toward the idea of favoring the Early Potato, and somehow or other I have to try to remember this so I don't get all starry eyed should I be around for next years Potato Planting Moment. Sadly the Early Potato does not keep, she's best a little under boiled straight out of the ground, her delicate skin takes to butter, a little Parsley, a flake of salt, a toss of pepper. Worth every second of agony.

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