Thursday, April 19, 2012

Potato Update

Remember my experimental potatoes I am growing this year from "seed" potatoes purchased from the organic potato section at Trader Joe's?  Well, as you can see from this photo, they have sprouted and are growing like crazy. I anticipate pulling some more dirt down to cover some of the stems this weekend.  I couldn't be more pleased, and I can't wait to find out how many potatoes I can get from these cheapskate seed potatoes.

It isn't that I'm purposely trying to take money from the seed companies.  (Well, maybe a little, but only to the extent that it stays in my own pocket.)  I have planted some beautiful All Blue potatoes from Seed Saver's Exchange, and I hope they do wonderfully.

But my big takeaway is that sustainable gardening means relying on yourself for as much of your seed and other supplies as possible.  I do have some blue potatoes growing now that are the dried and sprouted leftovers from last year that went bad before I could cook them; hopefully, they will give me lots of potatoes to harvest, too.  In the best of all possible situations, I would have enough potatoes to eat all winter and still have some to plant in the spring.  Then, I would only have to go to the seed companies for varieties I want to try but haven't grown before.

I have certainly invested less in seed potatoes this year than last year (less than $20 this year, compared with over $50 last year), so it will be that much easier for me to turn a profit.  Plus, I will be slowly developing potato varieties that are ideal for my microclimate, all while relying on myself for more and more of my gardening supplies.  That's truly sustainable.

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