Gardening

K-Dog Strikes Gold: (Yukon Gold Potatoes)

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on January 22, 2016

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Saturday is my day for yard and garden work. My garden now fallow, will be improved with soil amendments and a rabbit fence will be added to augment next years carrot yield.  Next year I'll be ready at the start of the growing season.  The first two years I got a late start getting the ground ready.  The first year because it was a new garden but this year because I doubled its size and sifted rocks out of the soil so it could be easily worked.  That took a few weekends.  With a rabbit fence not only carrots but my yield on other veggies will also go up. Thumper was busy in 2015. There are plenty of wild veggies for rabbits in the neighborhood; still I would share my bounty but rabbits don't wait for plants to grow and eat new shoots to the ground. Not a good thing, nothing gets started.

Here is a pic of what my garden looked like early last season.  The shape catches a good amount of sun even though a Douglas fir tree I planted many years ago towers over it.  The fir tree has been limbed more than twenty feet up and only blocks some early morning light.  Not seen out of the picture our house defines the angle of the front edge of the raised garden bed.  I chose the angle so the house does not block any sunlight.

garden_1

Just to the right of this picture is my potato box.  This Saturday I disassembled the box months after my potato plants had died. To my surprise there were potatoes in the soil I removed from it. All my potato plants had died in midsummer and I had thought my crop had been a total loss.

Starting out the summer my potatoes had shown promise. Here is my potato box early into my 2015 grow.  You can see my garden next to it and the trunk of my Douglas fir.

garden_3

Potatoes had been planted at ground level and a layer of boards now hold soil which has buried the growing plants in the above picture. When the plants had grown enough to be buried the first time a layer of boards seven and a half inches wide had been added to uprights and then the assembly had been dropped over the potato plants and filled with soil. Here is a picture of me to give you an Idea of how big the box is.  The boards holding back the soil are two feet long.

garden_2 

The view below is of the box showing a second row of boards added with plants buried another five and a half inches.

pic_zero

I added a third layer of boards and this view of the top shows the potato plants buried for the last time.

garden_4

Before I could add another layer of boards one plant had mysterious and suddenly wilted. I removed it above ground level but within a week all the other plants had also wilted and died just as the first had. I had read about the Irish potato famine last year and knew that all the potatoes in the famine had turned to a stinky black mush.

I figure my potato crop had been a loss.  It had been so early in the season I had not expected any potatoes to have even started to grow! I was wrong and before the potato plants had died potatoes had grown.

garden_5

K-Dogs 2015 potato crop

My personal potato famine had stopped growth above but not below ground. It had not been of the Irish kind as there was no black mush. For months healthy potatoes had been waiting for me to find them and I had not known it. 🙂

The soil I had used to bury my potatoes in had been some bagged garden soil I had bought on clearance.  It was cheap but it may have carried a fungus.  The first year I had used compost I had made and cured myself without problems.  I am going to gently pressure wash the potato box lumber and place the wood where it will dry until next spring.  I'll repaint the box then since I have plenty of the same paint I originally used when I made it.  I'll use different soil next year and I don't think any contamination on my box will survive being painted over.  This was the second year I used my box since I built it and its first year of use I had a lot more potatoes and the plants had lived well into fall until frost had killed them.  The year before I had grown Russet potatoes.  Perhaps the change in variety had something to do with this years early death of my plants.

Regardless of how it happend the potatoes are delicious.  I have made French fries and I have had them mashed.  Today I had some with a roast that baked in a crock pot all day.  It was fantastic.

garden_6

This picture of my dogs dream dinner is a bit out of focus.  I took it with my phone.  The potatoes I cut open with a knife and I've added a little butter.  The yellow color is the natural color of Yukon Gold Potatoes.

You can tell I have not yet gone vegan.

222

Off the keyboard of William Hunter Duncan

Published on Off the Grid in Minneapolis on October 24, 2012

 

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This is my 222nd post. Adding the numbers of my name numerologically, they add up to 222.

What to say?

First, I guess I needed a month off. Shortly after the jubilation of my last post, there was a personnel shift at big bank, and I was moved to the coldest, draftiest, most awkward corner in the building. I had been surrounded by seven women; I now have grey cubical walls within arms reach on three sides. A reminder, I guess, not to stand out too much, not to enjoy myself while I work, maybe. That, and all the romantic ideas I sort-of hinted at in my last post, have collapsed in the reality of the generally weird idiosyncratic chaos of my life, including that furnace friend couldn’t fix the furnace, so I’m heading into my third winter in a cold house. (Who do you ask on a date anyway, when you don’t own a vehicle?) It’s also harvest time, and there are many projects in the garden. The garden is very beautiful still, so I’m outside as much as I can be. There was also a stairs I built for a maiden, mother and crone. Anyway, I’m back.

What was going on a month ago? I suppose that was about the time of the first VICE-prez debate. How about this election! What’s weirder than half of American voters, about to elect a vulture capitalist President? That about half of that half two years from now are going to be poorer for it? Though based on Ro-Money they might be angling for jobs driving Latinos out of the country. Or maybe working at a Walmart distribution center, living in tents and half-way houses and on the street. Though what do I know, I may have to work at big bank Monday, Christmas Eve Day, and the Friday after Thanksgiving, foreclosing on people’s houses.

Weirder I think is Ro-Money’s China talk, as if America is not afloat because China is buying Treasury bonds by the trillion, so we Americans can buy mountains of consumer crap we throw into the nearest designated incinerator or hole in the ground – so 28 members of Walton ilk are worth a billion, five or so worth $25bl+. Or maybe it’s that my radical Fundamentalist Constitutionalist Sovereign Christian mother LOVES Wal-Mart? If I do make it home for the holidays, the food will consist mostly of Wal-Mart food product, even veges grown in China.*
But then, ladies, don’t you know, if you get preggers by force, that’s the will of OMOG. Something like my work at big bank is the work of God.

Or maybe it’s that O doesn’t really want the job? If he loses, it won’t just be because America is about done with him. There have been moments in every debate, when I thought he wasn’t sure. What about you? Would you want the job? Oh great, he can continue another four years killing people every week with drone strikes, presiding over the growing domestic security State, the collapse of global financial markets, food shortages famine and die-off(?), global biological eco-illogical destruction in the name of commerce, war in Iran (apparently). Alas, he chose to fulfil a fate, though he might have given it up chosen his own and told America the truth. Existing in such a wicked web of lies and agendas and confabulation, it is impossible to imagine any truth coming out of him, that isn’t about treating Americans as if they are stupid children.

Wait a minute. The weirdest thing was hearing Ro-Money, paraphrased, “you didn’t say that? You didn’t?! You didn’t?! What did you say then!” talking as a child, as to a child, to the President of the United States of America. Or maybe it was both, their inarticulate, fumbling, empty, inauthentic language. Or maybe the media reinforcement of the stupid message.

MY work at big bank is rote enough, and I am good enough at it, that I’ve spent the past week listening to youtube streams of Terence Mckenna. That has been a blessing. Terence talked a lot about the world being made of language. The world as we know it certainly is, the debates being a pre-eminent example. To the degree that most people talk about the world they inhabit, they recite what they hear in the media. The message of the media and the candidates for Prez being tight, no ideological wiggle room there at all, really. You won’t get anything like the truth there, only the Truth as it is prescribed for you, stupid Americans.
ANyWay, here’s some truth from me,

Storable Edibles. Contrary to zombie propaganda, I’m making sure everyone knows I’m growing food.

Another place for a hoop house experimental.

Pics

A stairs for a maiden, mother and crone (crone not present on delivery) living in a condominium. The mother of whom gave me this first generational digital camera.

As if by magic, a delivery, future valkyrie or norn, or the like, I hope.

Asters, on my woodland city walk

Got rid of my cell phone yesterday. I’ll have a house phone and better internet, for $50 less a month than I’ve been paying for cell and city wireless. The Vee ry ZON people called it an upgrade.

*Both links in this piece came courtesy of JoeP.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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