Yesterday evening after the day had cooled down and Sonny and I were caught up on other chores we were able to take time to dig up our potato patch. The potato plants were withered and dry, a perfect indication that the Kennebec potatoes hiding beneath the soil were ready for harvest. Sonny manned the spade fork, pushing it down into the soil and lifting up until those beautiful spuds were forced up from the ground.

He chuckled at me as I hurried to pick up each potato that popped up, squealing like an excited kid grabbing for candy thrown from a parade float. It was a bit like that, but for different reasons. I was so excited to see that our potatoes had turned out in abundance this year and that we had grown food that will help sustain us through the winter. Each one represented a meal.

Yummy Spuds.

The first pioneers must have felt much the same, because a good crop meant the difference between life and starvation in winter. A full root cellar is much more comforting than an empty one. What if you didn’t have a grocery store to run to when you ran out of food? I think it is a convenience that we take for granted.

Getting back to the land and being able to care for ourselves is a wonderful feeling. Its gives you a sense of independence and there is a satisfaction in knowing that all your sweat and toil has brought forth something of true value. It is a new life that Sonny and I have embarked on. We have always had to depend on that grocery store to keep us fed until these past few years.

There is a down side of course when your garden is hit with blight, bugs and drought. For all the comfort of a full root cellar is then dashed against the rocks. Thats why our grandparents planned ahead and always canned more than needed in a year, for the next one might not be as plentiful. Thank God for a good harvest this year! We probably harvested close to eighty pounds of potatoes. Today I laid them out on a tarp in the root cellar to cure for a while before putting them back in the baskets. Maybe next year we can build a proper potato bin.

How has your harvest been this year? We would like to hear from some of our fellow farmers or those of you who are member of a CSA or use the farmers markets. How are you preparing your pantry for winter?

Moby's winter food bin must be full. He's able to nap.



7 Responses to POTATO HARVEST

  1. Dana Hudnall says:


  2. ron says:

    i look forward to the first new ‘taters fried with bacon,onion,green and hot pepper each year
    usually start sneeking into ‘tater patch in mid july, digging few at a time

    growing up we had potatoes every day for supper, twice a day on weekends,dad planted 200# or more each yr
    with some form of home butchered meat and home canned veggies
    still wont touch green beans after the bumper crop in the mid 60’s

    couldnt wait till summer for fresh veggies

    lived on farm here in doddridge co,
    never went hungry , but in winter not a lot of variety in meals

    milk crates make nice tater bins, can stack, space saving,and can be used for other stuff when not holding taters
    air can circulate, and if get rotten 1it not spoil whole bunch

    • lkjobe says:

      Still wish I had grown up on a farm. My Dad sold his along with his cows a year after I was born. The milk crate idea sounds good. I will have to get some. We used a plastic milk crate on the back of our scooter when we were stationed in Bermuda. Worked great for hauling stuff.

  3. james bates says:

    Wow those are some good looking patotos, especially loaded with chives, butter, bacon bits, and sour cream. You are looking good yourself, if Sonny doesn’t me saying that. You look like you lost wieght and you like you are heathy. POF seems to be treating you right, and Sonny too.

    • lkjobe says:

      Thanks. The bear fat will return come winter. Sonny is thriving out here and the exercise is doing him good. Lots of fresh air!

  4. R. Wilson says:

    Wow! Brings back many memories of using a spade myself and getting our potatoes out by hand and storing them in our basement. xx Of note, a few years later we planted just a bit more and then used a plow to turn them over and get them out of the earth. Some were damaged due to the plow cut, but, still many were perfect. xx Ultilately, I preferred the plow method vice the spade to every plant. xx Just a thought. — Rich

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