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Fresh Eating

July 13th, 2011

There’s something quite wonderful about harvesting something and eating it it within minutes, or while in the garden as I do with black raspberries and other things. Yesterday I was going to fry up some duck eggs for breakfast and was trying to figure out what to have on the side. I considered zucchini & mushrooms, but we’d had those for dinner the night before. Then I remembered that it was time to start harvesting new potatoes.

I have read that harvesting new potatoes actually increases yield since it allows the potato plants to put more energy toward sizing up the remaining smaller potatoes. I’ve never harvested a lot of new potatoes before so we’ll see how many tiny potatoes I have when harvesting this year. It’s not quite as easy as “reach into the soil around plants and pluck a few potatoes for your basket”. I don’t know what kind of soil these people have that write these tips but there’s no “reaching” into the soil. I use a trowel and gently search for a potato or two around the base of each plant. These potatoes were sauteed in bacon great with a few leeks and garlic and sprinkled with some parsley when they were finished.

Do you harvest new potatoes? What’s your favorite way to eat potatoes for breakfast?

17 Comments to “Fresh Eating”
  1. Jennifer Fisk on July 13, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I usually purchase new potatoes at the Farmers Market. My favorite breakfast potatoes are homefries. I like them well cooked with onion, Emeril’s Southwest, salt and pepper.

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  2. Allison on July 13, 2011 at 7:10 am

    That makes me feel better that they should produce more. I had some the other night, and I felt like I was robbing the plants. It will be nice to compare to see which plants produce more.

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  3. Melissa on July 13, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I got a few new potatoes this year, not sure if there are more out there or not–haven’t been digging recently!

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  4. Daedre Craig on July 13, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I harvest new potatoes, but mainly because I want to spread my potato harvest out (I don’t want to be stuck with 50 pounds of potatoes all at once). I just started harvesting my new potatoes last weekend and they were delicious!

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  5. Teapot on July 13, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Grow your potatoes in sand. When I was a kid, growing up in NW Ohio, I started a potato plant at school for a project (we’re talking 3rd grade here), and when it was ready I brought it home. My parents told me I couldn’t plant it anywhere but the sandbox. So that’s what I did. We had the biggest and most abundant plants ever that year! :)

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  6. Teapot on July 13, 2011 at 9:22 am

    … um… that would “most abundant *potatoes* ever…” not *plants*

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  7. Rhonda on July 13, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Fried with onion and bacon. Mmmmmmmm

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  8. Carol on July 13, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Paul bakes them, chills them overnight, and then fries them in enough butter to make a cardiologist weep bitter tears. Great googly-moogly, are they good. :)

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  9. Chrisi on July 13, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I’ve been harvesting a few handfuls each week lately… I’m growing some little unmarked purple variety and russets my grandfather brought over from the store… I’ve found a few large ones already too. I think ill stop soon and just let them do their thing for a while

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  10. Renee on July 13, 2011 at 11:46 am

    My potato plants got attacked by beetles and had to handle some extreme weather this year, and didn’t make it. I wasn’t sure what I’d find when I dug them up since they hadn’t gone through the full cycle, but I now have 13 lbs of new red potatoes!

    I totally agree on the “reach into the soil” statement. I had to dig also, and hit several of my potatoes with my trowel, damaging them. The heavy clay around here, mixed with the compost I added, doesn’t lend itself to “reaching in” in any way, shape, or form!

    However, I did have better luck harvesting potatoes without damaging them when I did it just after a heavy rain – you just push the mud aside and pull out the beauties! It was much easier.

    Oh, and I like them home-fried with onions also!

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  11. Gabe on July 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Haven’t ever done the new potatoes, but I’ll have to consider it in the future.

    I like them diced small, with peppers, mushrooms, onions, and some kind of fresh bacon or sausage. Yum!

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  12. Vegetable Garden Cook on July 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I hill my potatoes pretty high, and so I find it easy to reach into the soil around the plants to grab new potatoes. I find it best to boil new potatoes, as their sugar hasn’t turned to starch yet, and they will burn easily if you saute them.

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  13. KimH on July 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Im not growing potatoes here but when I did, I never had a problem either with grabbing a hold of a few since my soil was a sandy loam. Perfect for reaching in. ;)

    Some 25 or 30 years ago I read in Mother Earth Magazine (I think) that you could grow potatoes on top of the ground.. Just toss your tubers down & cover them with a good 4-6 inches of grass clippings or hay and keep adding grass or hay as it disintegrates. A few neighborly old timers told me it wouldnt work but I wanted to see anyways.. it did, and all I had to do was lift the grass clippings & hay to find my new potatoes without disturbing the whole plant and roots. I just settled it down & they continued to grow.

    I’ve also read (but never have done) planting potato plants in the bottom of a tub and as it grows taller to fill it in with soil until you reach the top. Little tubers will grow all along the stem and you can just pull the soil from the top part to get new potatoes easily while keeping the lower tubers intact.

    I totally agree with you regarding the goodness of butter fat.. Im definitely going to check out that book.. I run across some of the best books here on your blog Thanks for that!!

    Now if I could just get those fried potatoes out my mind.. ;)

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    • Susy on July 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      I do like to mulch mine with a generous layer of straw instead of hilling, seems to do a great job keeping the weeds down, the potatoes moist, and helps keep the potatoes from turning green.

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  14. Lindsey @ NW Backyard Veggies on July 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I grow my potatoes in tires stacked high. I’m getting ready to add the fifth and final tires. I am going to put straw in the last two tires just so I can “reach in” and grab a couple of newbies down the line a little bit.

    I like that sandbox idea….:-)

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  15. on July 14, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Wow I miss those days in my grandmother house when we used to harvest potatoes and sweet potatoes in her vast vegetable garden. It’s a wonderful feeling whenever I dig and find a potato specially when it’s a big one.
    My favorite way to eat potatoes on breakfast is simply fried potatoes with mozzarella cheese and bacon. Yummy

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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