Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Potatoes and cabbage

I must have been feeling an affinity with my Irish roots, because today's harvest consisted solely of potatoes and cabbage: 2.5 kg of beautiful, tender new Yukon Gold potatoes, and 4 hefty cabbages.

There was a bit of urgency to this harvest. The cabbages, after going unscathed for most of their development, have been besieged by cabbage worms, and need to be eaten before they're not fit for human consumption (although I bet the chickens would think worms in cabbage a bonus). So I picked the four biggest and spent some time tonight shredding, salting and packing them into my new (old) stoneware pickling crock. In a few weeks we should be eating Mucky Boots Farm's first fermented food: sauerkraut.

The potato plants are also in trouble, but in their case I have no idea what the problem is. The leaves are turning mottled yellow and in a few cases the plants have died. Potato plants are supposed to die, but this seems much too early. So today I went digging beneath the worst-off plants to see what was happening beneath the surface, and was pleasantly surprised to find plump, soft-skinned, blemish-free potatoes - 2.5 kg of them, from just three plants. The potatoes we have growing in two other locations - in buckets along the driveway and in the dregs of the former pile o' dirt near the house - are doing much better, so we'll leave those for winter storage, which means we can indulge in regular feasts of boiled new potatoes slathered in butter without thinking twice.

And just in case you're looking at that second photo and thinking "Miriam should be holding a couple of those cabbages a few inches higher," Kim got there before you. Who says farmers have no fun?


Doc said...

Oh yes farmers do have fun. This post reminded me that I planted some purple skinned French New Potatoes behind the greenhouse....sure hope they are ok. Nice......ah....cabbages?

backyardfeast said...

Miriam, our early potato plantings and types are starting to die off (yellow) as well, but in that case, they've been through the flowering, etc cyle, so they're done. The main crops have also been through the flowering and are starting their die back, and should be ready for harvesting in another month (?), which might be a little early, but I think it's the variety and planting date that makes the difference.

And cabbage...sigh. I've got to get me one of those crocks and start pickling. Steve Solomon called these "cabbage summers" for a reason!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Er,um,ah, what big cabbages you have, my dear :-)

You would make any Irishman proud with that harvest.

Hope you both are doing well!

Happy weekend.

Miriam said...

Toni at backyard feast, I think you're right. What had me confused was that the potatoes didn't flower. But what do I know?! I decided to just stop worrying and start enjoying those tasty new potatoes!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Ooh my, those are some BIG cabbages m'dear.
I can only imagine how good they will taste, and the potatoes equally so.
Well done !

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