Idaho is known for its potatoes, and one farmer in particular used to be held in high regard for his crops, so when the supply sergeant from the local U.S. Army fort showed up at his place one day to ask about buying some, the farmer asked how many he potatoes he wanted.

“Oh, about twenty pounds,” the sergeant said.

The farmer thought about this a minute, and finally declared, “Nope I can’t do it. I wouldn’t cut a spud in two for nobody.”


Okay, but potatoes are actually fun to grow, and tasty to eat fresh.  Just buy some “eyes” from a seed supplier, plant them in a wide row, mounded up, and wait. Then wait some more. And more. Just remember to mound them, not just with soil, but with leaves or straw, to level out temperature and humidity swings to make for bigger, healthier potatoes.  This also helps keep away potato beetles, because the plants are so healthy.

The blossoms are joyous when the plants bloom, and when you finally dig around with your finger under the mound and find new potatoes, it’s like seeing presents under the Christmas Tree. Worth a little time and garden space, I can tell you..

About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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