Saturday, March 24, 2012


Wednesday was the day to plant potatoes. I started by taking the tiller apart and putting the parts on for it to dig trenches. It took time to find wrenches of the right size for each blade to be removed, which ofcourse were each a different size bolt. The belts also needed changed, but I did not know to which arrangment so I choose the only other belt I found to fit. I got the machine together for plowing and moved it out to the potato plots. I used a line and steaks to set the rows I would plow and marked them. Two wheels with large spokes to pull the machine and a large triangluar spade which would dig the top soil and push it to the sides into neat ridges. The challenge was keeping straight lines at a good distance for planting. As I started into the softer parts of the soil, the blade would pull inward and off track. At any time I made a curve or went of the lines I had set, I would turn around and go over the area once more. I had five varieties of red and white potatoes so I plowed a furrow for each. I used a hoe to dig a level square line through the furrow where I could plant an even row of plants. I filled the wheel barrow and layered in some manure to the bottom of the trenches and put on a thin covering of soil to seoparate the compost and the potato sprouts.This would provide useful and rich nutrients to the plants as soon as they produce a good root structure. I went in for lunch before I started planting my first row of potato pieces. We had some amazing lamb burgers with homemade chips and a large sald. We cleaned up together and I spent time answering a few emails before I went back to work in the dirt.
Seed potatoe pieces are spread into the trench a few inches apart and burried with the mounds of topsoil. I went through the different varieties, alternating red and whites and doing my best to have an even hiegth and width between the ridges. Once a row of potatoes was burried I spent time raking the mounds into straight even lines for a good appearance. I had left the same amount of space for the main crop of potatoes and a few other root vegetables beside the current crop of leeks. I weeded the edges of the beds and cleared away any stones from the mounds. I finished the day wetting down the rows of burried potato pieces with plenty of water and then washing off the hose that had been drug through the muck with me as I went along. I spent a few minutes making stakes for each variety before I mocved the tiller and the other tools back to the shed and went in for the night. I got right to work cutting vegetables of all kinds for a stew that evening. I cut potatoes, carrots, leeks and onions along with a good ration of spinnach and kale. I mixed in some brocolli, squash, brussels sprouts, and beet root from the garden with a few herbs. I found a good bundle of parsley and fennel to chop into the mix with seasonings out of our kitchen. I added mushrooms, garlic, rice and a mix of three types of beans before letting the stew sit for an hour or so. The three of us enjoyed the dinner with bread and wine having plenty left over for the next day.

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