This Week’s Harvest
Sweet Peppers (Italian, mini or red bell)
Melrose (crunchy, juicy and tart with a flat top) and Jonagold (sweeter with a taller rounded top)
We are digging lots of potatoes lately, squeezing in a harvest of a bed whenever we can. It was just about this time last year that we started preparing for these very potatoes! Potatoes are one of the first things we plant in the spring and because of this it can be a gamble if our fields are going to be dry enough to plant or not. We decided to experiment with making our raised beds in the fall instead of the spring and seeding the beds to a cover crop. We did a blend of oats, which winter kill, and Austrian cow peas, which survive the winter, put on growth in the spring, and fix nitrogen.
This experiment worked great. All the organic matter from the cover crops was easily reincorporated back into the soil with a shallow tilling and after spreading fertilizer we were ready to plant 1650 lbs of potatoes.
Prepping beds and planting potatoes is the easy part. Weeding 15 beds when a million other things are going on is the hard part! We kept up for a time with tine weeding first and then running through with the G and hilling discs. At some point we weren’t able to keep up and we did have some massive ragweed, smartweed and thistle by the time the potatoes were ready for harvest (no pictures of that mess!)
Even with our 2 row potato digger, we end up crawling on the beds digging under dirt chunks in search of the potatoes. The less weeds there are interfering with the digging process, the better. After this year we’ve got some goals set for next year. Hopefully we’ll have the time to continue weeding the potatoes into August. It would be nice to experience what an easy potato harvest feels like- and I’m sure the crew would agree!
Potato and Radish Salad (use sweet onion in place of scallions)
Scrambled Egg and Swiss Chard Tacos (substitute poblano and/or jalapeño for the serrano peppers)
Coming Up Next Week (our best guess…..) Cilantro, Bok Choi, Salad Turnips, Honeynut Squash, Cauliflower, Swiss chard, Fennel, Arugula and more!