Taters and Strawberries

Crop by crop, I’m making progress on our 2013 production plan. Just finished the taters and strawberries.

Our seed potatoes, 1,500 pounds worth, are scheduled to arrive late March. We’ll leave them in their 50 pound bags for a week or so, stacked neatly in the living room of our apprentice house, to get warm. Then we will pour them into bulb crates, stack them in the middle of the living room and let them get a bit of light. This “green sprouting” gives our spuds time to grow eyes (roots) and gives us a jump on the growing season. After a week or so of green sprouting, the potatoes are moved to the Bean House where we cut them into 2 ounce seed piece. Plans are to get the seed potatoes out of the apprentice house in time for apprentices to move in and to plant them mid-April.

Red Maria, Sangre, Chieftain, French Fingerling, Satina, King Hairy, Banana and Elba are the potato varieties I’ve selected. Some of these are resistant to hollow heart, a malady that plagued the yummy Keuka Golds we grew last year. King Hairy is purported to repel flea beetles, Colorado Potato Beetles and Leaf Hoppers. Our fields seems to be a gathering place for leaf hoppers from miles around, so King Hairy will get a good work out.

Strawberries. Last year we tried an every bearing variety called “Evie”. I didn’t think they were as tasty as the should have been, especially given all the hand weeding attention they received. This season, based on excellent reviews I’ve heard, I’ve ordered a variety called “Seascape”.  This is another ever bearing variety – they will be planted in the spring and the plants will produce berries for us in August. Long-term plans are to grow June bearing strawberries. These will be planted in the fall and will produce berries for us in June.

eggplantPeppersTomorrow I’ll work on the peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. The little orange Yummy sweet peppers and the sweet bull’s horn red Carmen pepper are definitely in the plans. Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, Striped German and Brandywine are in the tomato line-up. Asian and Italian eggplant varieties, too.

Do you have a favorite tomato, pepper or eggplant variety? Let me know and I’ll see if I can find room for it this season.

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