Harvesting potatoes at Sol Feliz

Here are some of the potatoes we harvested today:blues, golds, and reds.  We planted about 4  pounds of potatoes and yielded just over 12.  I guess this is pretty good given the lack of water this year.  I did finally set up some soaker hoses to give these some additional water in hopes of at least breaking even.

From what I hear in the world of commodity crops, potatoes nationwide are doing well, a testament to their productivity and importance.  Other crops like corn, soy, and probably other staple grains, even beans, aren’t doing as well as in years past.  In fact, we may see a dramatic rise in food prices this winter.

I have heard of other techniques to grow potatoes in tires, boxes, and even saw a system recently where potatoes are being grown in a plastic trash can with holes cut in the bottom.  Early in the spring, several inches of soil was placed in the bottom of the can with potatoes on top of that and covered by a few more inches of soil.  As the potatoes grew, more soil was added until now where the trash can is full to the top with soil and the potato plants over the top.  It is estimated the grower will get over 100 pounds of potatoes from this one trash can and one potato to start!

We will be saving most of our harvested potatoes to plant for next year, hoping to expand our potato cultivation area while installing some kind of drip irrigation system in hopes of acquiring higher yields.  This was a good year for learning, and we will also be hyper-intentional on improving our soils for next year, which we find as one of our best strategies for mitigating the impacts of drought.

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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