6.9.2014 Purho, Finland
Time for the potato harvest. The first bucket (and photo) was from two shady patches of a variety called Tammiston Aikainen. It was bred near Helsinki and now is rather rare. I haven’t tasted it yet as I’m still working on my Siikli’s from Mustikkamaa. They fared pretty well with the tiny bit of fertilizer I had available (and no compost still…). I’m sure that the mycorrhizal inoculation was pretty important in these conditions.
The very large plants are mummo’s. Her patch was able to get at least 3 more hours of direct sun than any other spot. I also gave her the most of the fertilizer I had. The solo photo of a potato with its tubers is one of hers: 19 potatoes from one plant! Her potatoes were simply year-old potatoes sold in the grocery store for eating :)
The last two patches were very disappointing: they had the least amount of fertilizer and one of the patches was completely infested with wireworms.
Apparently they love to live in grass and especially in “no till” situations, like ours. Harumph! This is where it would be just awesome to have a few pigs and chickens on site to prepare potato patches in the future. The chickens would probably have to be there at the same time as the pigs are tilling the plot so they can grab the beetle larvae before they burrow back into the earth. Then they could take a break and come back to spread the pig manure.
Little buggers! Still managed to harvest a brimming 10L bucketful of small potatoes. They were of a short season variety, Solist. When I checked last month to see if they were ready, they had hardly grown. So they wound up being a long season crop.
This harvest was nothing to really write home about, but still more than has been grown here in a very long time. I won’t grow potatoes again for a number of years, at least until we manage to cut down some of those pines for more sunlight and enough time has passed for a return of the potato.
Oh, and the darned worms got into my carrots as well. Two of their favorite foods: potatoes and carrots.