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Today’s Decadent Breakfast Salad

4 Jun

The garden greens are in full swing, so it’s nothing but salads for the next few weeks if we want to keep up. This morning I’m doing my part by eating a lovely salad of arugula, butteraise, blanched almond slivers, chopped up hard-poached eggs, and shredded nice aged Parmesan cheese. It’s quite nice!

Container Potatoes: Gardening Anyone Can Do

14 May

I’m pretty sure potatoes are the absolute most controversial food when it comes to paleo / primal eating. I don’t eat them every day, but I do eat them. If you aren’t opposed to potatoes, you may be interested to know that they are dead easy to grow. Potatoes are kind of a miracle plant that turns dirt into food even under poor conditions. If you have any yard space at all, you can plant them in the ground. If you have no yard space, though, or want a method that makes for a simpler harvest, read on:

Potatoes grow well in containers

Potatoes grow well in containers

Potatoes are really easy to grow in containers. The down side is that the soil to grow them in and the container itself are usually more expensive than just buying potatoes. This pot is one I have had for a long time, and the potting soil in it is, I’m sure, long since devoid of any organic value. So if you have a container, especially a large one, that has outlived its usefulness, this is a great way to revitalize it. I amended the soil with some compost since we had plenty. There are lots of ways to repurpose other items to use as pots, too, and you can sometimes make your own “potting soil” a bit cheaper by mixing vermiculite/pumice, compost, coconut coir, etc. (although this isn’t always any cheaper than just buying potting soil).

You can buy special seed potatoes, but I rarely do. I started growing these potatoes when several weeks worth of produce-bin potatoes sprouted and I wanted to cut my losses somewhat. As long as you start from organic potatoes that have already sprouted, you should be fine. You can plant each potato whole or you can cut the individual “eye” sections apart.

Plant the potatoes fairly deep. If you have the wherewithal, plant the potatoes in a container that’s only partially filled. As the vines grow, gently cover them most of the way with more soil; this will cause the plant to produce more tubers and makes better use of a deep container.

After a couple of months, start poking around gently in the soil to see how big the potatoes are getting. I like to harvest them when they are still tiny, like this:

I often feel like small potatoes

I often feel like small potatoes

These were washed then fried whole in tasty fat for my dinner Sunday night.

The easiest way to harvest is to dump the contents of the container onto a tarp and sift through until you find potatoes.

You can also let them grow much longer and get actual decent-sized potatoes this way. I have been told and am currently experimenting with, but can’t yet confirm, that you can harvest a round of new potatoes (like these) then re-plant the vines and grow more. If you want to do this, you have to be very careful about digging up and replanting the plants to keep them intact.

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