Saturday, June 19, 2010

Food From the Compost Pile

Ok...I might as well go ahead and admit something to you....  I probably never would have made it as a die hard mountain woman. makes me cringe to say that.  I could if I really wanted to.  I mean, you can do anything you put your mind to, right??  Providing you really have the desire ...  course maybe talent plays into that as well.  But if you don't have talent, you could always learn skill...  For crying out loud...let me get back to the post at hand...  (which reminds me of something funny I read recently:  "I suffer from ADOS, which is, Attention Deficit Ohhhhh! Shiny!!  - chuckle...  ahem.... back on topic)  Anyway, the reason I said I probably would have never made it as a die hard mountain woman is because I have these notions about food.  If it looks even slightly weird, off color, close to expiring, off flavor, nearing overly ripe, etc...I cannot eat it. Take for instance, bananas.  When they start getting slightly brown and soft, I can no longer stomach them.  My husband declares that this is when they are in their prime...and most flavorful...well, that's fine, honey, you go ahead and eat them.
Or say lunchmeat....I really don't like to smell meat anyway... so, if it's even questionable, I make my husband sniff it.  Sometimes I'm convinced it smells strange even when it isn't nearing the "best by" date.  I've thrown food out before just because there is a question as to its being prudent to consume.  Okay...that embarrasses me a think that I've made ya'll think I waste food.  Usually, if I must throw something out, I do it while my husband is at I don't have to answer any questions about it.  :)  And usually, I don't throw it in the compost pile...I wrap it up in numerous Wal-Mart bags so he won't notice what it is when he takes off the trash.  LOL...  you salsa jars that have dried salsa around the top and it just looks old...  and who knows if that stuff in there is going bad???
So, back to the topic....we have a compost pile.  We put all the vegetable cuttings, tea grounds, animal wastes, etc in there and then use it on the garden.  Well, there were some potatoes in there.  If I was a die hard mountain woman, I probably would have used them, okay???  So, just shoot me now for wasting food when there are people all over the world who would give their eye teeth for some flimsy, wrinkled old potatoes.  At any rate, I was going to the compost bin one day, to throw away what I am sure was legitimate scraps :D when I noticed some potatoes the compost bin!  I immediately began stewing over this....I mean, I had *always* wanted to grow potatoes.  We did grow sweet potatoes one year ..but they aren't hiding underground like white potatoes.  I remembered from my youth, my dad digging potatoes.  Seemed like I remembered it being like a treasure hunt!!  And Ohhhhh!  Shiny!!!  do I love treasure hunts...  :D
Now I knew somewhere in the back of my mind, that you are supposed to cut off the eyes, and just plant those; but, I figured hey....there are three big growing potatoes that look to be thriving....why not just shovel the entire thing up...leave the compost stuck to the bottom...and transplant it in the garden???  And then stand back and see what it does??  So, I proceeded to take three plants and snug them in the lower part of the garden so they'd be in no one's way.  I wasn't sure they'd live, but I was so excited to give it a try.

This is a picture of the just transplanted potatoes...from compost pile to garden...

I kept watching the new little plants...encouraging them on and they continued to grow....
I was definitely impressed with their progress...  After we noticed that these plants were actually growing, we went back to the compost pile and found a few more potatoes that were growing...  we ended up planting 12 more plants...and just so you know...all of those weren't whole potatoes, ok??  I didn't throw out an entire bag...  Anyway....  LOL....

I walked out to the garden one day and noticed, to my immense pleasure, that my sweet little potato plant had flowers!!!!!  I had heard that when the flowers die, you can go looking for some potatoes...I've never in my life wanted a flower to wilt so bad....  :D
Finally, the day came....okay, so not all the flowers had died, but I was impatient!!!  I couldn't wait to dig up my first potato....  I got my camera ready...of course :)  and headed off to the garden.  I began digging...gently moving the dirt aside, and wonder of still my beating heart...I saw my very own home grown potato..... 

How cool is that????  Look at them just growing right there underground!!!  It amazes me....  :)

So, it wasn't baked potato size....I'm not sure it would even qualify as tater tot size...but I was proud of the four potatoes we harvested.  I sliced off a *thin* slice of each one and we all reveled in the fascination of our treasure.  :)  Here's a pic of our first potatoes:

 LOL!!!  Aren't they adorable???

Ok...a week or so later, I went back out and tried again...this time with more luck!!  I actually had enough to make a pot full of boiled potatoes for our supper!!!

Look at those babies!!!  We're getting serious now!  :)
So, if you think about it...there's a moral to this story.  In the beginning, it might have *appeared* that I was being wasteful, but look how many potatoes we will be able to harvest eventually from 15 plants!!!  I actually did us a favor throwing out those old wrinkled potatoes....LOL  :D

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