Archive for the ‘Guest Gardeners’ Category

Before I get back to the business of talking about the garden, I would like to finally fulfill a promise made to a friend months ago, literally. Ruth Bavetta, who has been a guest here previously, has had some seriously awesome good fortune this Spring, with her artwork and poems popping up online and in print. She has been sending me links and I have been collecting them with the goal of posting them all in one place. I meant to do this so long ago, but then there was this biology class….so now, as promised, I submit my link collection;

1) Visual poetry…these are among my favorites.

2) Some artwork…I love the way she deals with light, and also there’s a great photo of Ruth’s beautiful smile🙂

3) Another gallery of art…”Sister Ann, Sister Ann” is my favorite!

4) Poetry at “The Barefoot Review”

5) Poet of the month – February 2012.

6) More of the visual poetry, and a great site for female artists.

7) “Let There Always Be”…I love this poem – one of my favorites!

Congratulations, Ruth, for the accolades! You deserve it, and I’m so very happy for you. If there are any pertinent links that I missed, please forward them to me and I’ll do a supplement post.

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Well, It seems like forever ago since I started the posts about the potato experiment that my friend Kenny and I were going to do over the summer. Things got busy and complicated and we have all been taking care of business. I have a few minutes before I close up the office for the day, so here goes the update. You can click on the vegetables/potatoes category to your right if you want to see the previous posts.

From Kenny:

“Much to my disappointment my potato harvest has been rather pathetic. I found one white potato and zero blue potatoes.

The White Knight

The one Idaho spud I tossed into a pot and pretty much ignored, did provide several little fingerling potatoes…those were tasty!!

Idaho spud-in-a-pot

French Fries, we need French Fries!

I think the problems were the high heat we had in Arizona this summer. Many days were over 110F! The potatoes in the raised beds just couldn’t handle all the heat all the time The beds didn’t even get a chance to cool down at night since even our nighttime temps often stayed in the upper 80’s to low 90’s.”

Thank you, Kenny! I’m sorry you didn’t have better luck with your spuds, but I remember trying to garden in Arizona and every time you plant something you just have to hope for the best against the weather goddess. Here in San Diego, we had one of the coldest summers on record and my potatoes did really well, for which I can thank Mother Earth since I was busy at school while she took care of everything…

Let me just say I was assuming the absolute worst outcome with this experiment! After planting mine, I got busy with school and work and didn’t check on the garden for long stretches at a time. One day Tom said he saw potatoes under the apple tree and suggested we dig em out. Part of me didn’t want to see that I had a bunch of raisin-looking spuds that died in the shadow of my abandonment. Bad Mommy! Anyways, here’s what we found under the apple tree:

August 2010 - French Fingerlings

Pink Potato Happiness

…and there was an honorable harvest out of my plastic buckets:

Buckett Potatoes

my fabulous assistant!

My thoughts:

* the potatoes under the apple tree were the best and I didn’t even plan those – it’s where I tossed the leftover pieces! I will assume that direct contact with Earth had something to do with that.

* the buckets were great but they took up a lot of patio/sidewalk space and were not pretty to look at – not a big deal though

* the plants never actually bloomed, which was odd and the reason I had no hopes of finding spuds…seems a miracle to me

* the small fingerlings did well and were tender and delicious, buttery too…I wonder if the type of potatoes that we each planted had something to do with the success rate? perhaps I’ll try bigger ones next year, although Tom says he really liked the little pink ones.

Next year, I will definitely be planting more potatoes since these were gone in a couple days, and next year I won’t harvest until I’m ready to eat. We dug these up all at once because I couldn’t stand the suspense, but they will last a little longer under ground than in a basket on my table.

French Fingerling harvest - August 2010

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“Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it any more than we can without potatoes.”
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), American novelist

As promised, an update from Kenny for the Potato Experiment!:

Arizona: BAKED Potatoes!!!

“They are growing quite well in my raised beds. As a matter of fact they are about 2 feet tall now. I’ve added more dirt to the bed twice, so it is full to the brim!

Build up the soil around the stems as they grow

I noticed today that they are also starting to get blooms which means that potatoes are forming underground. Once the flowers die off I’ll be tempted to dig up some fingerling potatoes just to see how they taste!

Potato Blooms

I also noticed today that I have some inch worms inching their way among the potato leaves so I picked off what I could find and then mixed up a batch of Castile soap bug spray to help get rid of any I missed. The Castile soap bug spray is really easy to make, here’s the ‘recipe’: in a clean two liter bottle add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil, 2 Tbsps of Castile peppermint oil or Eucalyptus oil soap ( I use Dr. Bronner’s brand because it is certified organic and a USA owned company). Shake the bottle well then pour into a clean spray bottle. Spray tops and bottoms of leaves, making sure all surfaces are completely soaked. I’ll do that every couple of days for a week then check for critters. If I don’t find any then I’ll just spray once a week to help keep things at bay. If it rains, which is not a problem here in the Arizona desert, then you have to apply again.

Inch Worm: cute and hungry

Nothing like home made “camping potatoes” as I call them: potatoes fried up in a cast iron skillet with some butter, onions, garlic, salt & pepper with some Parmesan cheese cooked till everything is a golden brown! YUM!”

Thanks for the update Kenny! The plants look healthy and I can’t wait for you to dig them up! I’m not going to talk about my potatoes since they aren’t blooming yet and Kenny’s are the star of the show today! I am, however, in the mood to go camping now, as long as Kenny will get up early to fry the potatoes. 🙂

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