Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Learning Curve

We have been digging up potatoes lately, and they're as delicious as can be. There are few things as fun as foraging for them. It is so gratifying to spend time rummaging around in the dirt, and out pops a beautiful yellow or purple one, and then another and another! There were not nearly as many potatoes as I'd thought there would be. I figured that out of eight plants we'd have multitudes. Some of the plants didn't really even produce any (mystery). But, we did get some, and those some wanted to make me plant more.

The biggest problem I've faced in this garden is timing...when to start new plants to supplement the ones that are going out, to leave room for them, to not have everything ready at once, and to truly figure out what it is that we eat and how much of it to grow.

I found out that we eat a lot of lettuces. We eat a lot of tomatoes. Not so much with the green beans, even though green beans are something we used to buy in the grocery store all the time. Many millions of peas (so vast was the number of peas that we consumed that the plant got completely harvested every day and none even made it into the pot!). I love to have beets on hand, and roast a bunch of them at a time and keep them in the fridge for snacks and impromptu salads with goat cheese. The onions get used and appreciated, but we're running low and don't have anything but tiny seedlings to replace them with. The garlic will run out eventually, and probably before the next garlic is ready.

Here is my new experiment. I have planted a row of lettuce, and a row of arugula. As soon as those rows get to be 2" tall, it'll time to plant another row. We'll see how that goes...

The garden is only a year old. I'm wondering how long it will really take for us to manage it to the point that we have the rhythm.




Anonymous said...

Those potatoes look like they would work perfectly for this receipy from Nigella Lawson...I've made them before and they are very tasty and impressive.
I'm not full fledge gardening yet, but hope to be next year...and I'm soaking up all the info I can. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Just for a historical perspective, you might enjoy the following: "The History of Intensive Food Gardening" by David Duhon. Published in two parts, it discusses the history behind what you're contemplating with your potatoes. Search the title and you'll find some copies listed from various sellers. One of the other things I loved about reading it was imagining what Paris would have been like when it was full of all these market gardens that supplied the people of the city with all kinds of fabulous vegetables and fruits.