Last November we ran into two issues on the farm; rain and storage. The weather had turned bad and we were harvesting more mud than spud. J We’d also run out of room to store any more potatoes. So we left them in the ground, anticipating that the rainy and freezing last winter would kill the spuds. Last week we “opened up” a few fields with the disc to start drying out the soil. As soon as we started down those left behind rows of potatoes, it was like we hit a brick wall. Bam! The disc sliced through some of the whitest, rock hard potatoes. I was not expecting to see that.
As a farmer, I spend a lot of time building my soil and my soil biology (microbial and fungal populations). I earnestly believe that having healthy soil and microbial activity helps my produce grow better and last longer. However, to have those spuds overwinter and be in as good of a shape as they are was not even on my radar. I called a few farming friends and shared what I discovered – radio silence. So I sent them a picture of the inside and then their responses came in as “WOW!” or “Nice!”
Of course we had to cook up a few and yes, they are good! So we geared up, got the digging equipment set up and headed out. Bummer! It turns out that the winter weather has caused our soils to pack together so tightly around the potatoes it is almost impossible to dig them. Ugh! As we ran the digger through the soil ever so carefully, we were cutting through more than we were harvesting! We have had to resort to hand digging to get the potatoes out. That is really the epitome of slow food!
Needless to say, what was going to be a pretty good harvest and a little extra profit has produced fewer high quality potatoes, which means I could only put them into a few boxes this week. That is painful for me! I love to grow food and love to get it to you. We will keep digging, but it will be more of a slog than a jog!
I have definitely learned that digging potatoes in the spring is not going to work, but it was sure fun to find this buried treasure.
From local spuds to local speaking!
Last year, our team added a goal to have me spend more time out in the community sharing about organic farming, eating healthier and just visiting! I have spoken to Rotarians, preschoolers and at large farm conferences, and I have been to health fairs and community meetings. So if you need some entertainment at one of your local meetings or events, just call the office and we will do our best to come and share about the importance of local farms and healthy eating. I will even bring a box of good to be raffled or auctioned off with the proceeds going to your group’s favorite charity.
The farm is waking up!