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Sweet Success

October 25th, 2012

Last year, my mom and I didn’t grow sweet potatoes. Since we had lost our entire crop to the voles in 2010, we decided to take the year off. This spring we optimistically planted a large row in the garden hoping for the best.

It was a hot summer, just what the sweet potatoes ordered. All summer we kept wondering what we’d find when we harvested our patch.

Low and behold, it was a banner year; our sweet potatoes produced like mad. Most of them were nice sized roots, with the occasional mammoth one. We also ended up with a small bucket of the tiny ones, which will become dog food.

We won’t be eating these beauties right away, they need cured for their sweetness to come out. Sweet potatoes like to be cured in warm temperatures (around 85) for about 2 weeks. We decided to try curing the sweet potatoes in my mom’s greenhouse where it’s warm and toasty and around 85 on most sunny days. Half of them may be covered with a towel to see if this helps raise the humidity a little since they appreciate a high humidity during curing. It should be interesting to roast them for Thanksgiving next month and compare.

That’s part of growing root vegetables, you never really know what you’re going to find at harvest time. Most of the time you will find a great harvest but every now and then it’s a big disappointment. This year we’re enjoying our sweet success!

Have you ever had a disappointing root vegetable harvest?

My Mom’s Potager in Late July

August 4th, 2012

Last week I was over at my mom’s and took a few photos of her edible garden. I often help her with the garden chores, though this year, with the move, I’ve had less time to visit and work in the garden.

She was having trouble with a few baby rabbits getting in and eating her beans and peas, so she decided to put up a traditional scarecrow. I must admit, it looks great and I might have to put one in my garden next year.

My mom’s garden looks better than any garden I’ve seen. She’s reaping the rewards of years of hard work adding organic matter to the soil and avoiding chemicals. As a result, her garden retains moisture better than most do.

For over a month, we’ve been harvesting ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes from a really early planting in a cold frame super early in the spring. You can clearly see where I got my green thumb from!

Do you have any family members that have big beautiful gardens?

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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.