I find nothing quite as satisfying as preparing — and eating — a meal with vegetables from my own garden. An eggplant caponata, zucchini latkes, even just a simple sun-warmed tomato with a sprinkle of salt – all scrumptious.
But, as wonderful as all these things are, I like to add something new and different every year. After all, I have enough jalapeno and banana peppers in my freezer to last for the next decade, so there is available space in the garden.
So this year I planted potatoes. Fingerlings, to be precise, the small, stubby, finger-shaped type, because I adore those tiny potatoes oven-roasted with a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. (I’m salivating already, and it’s only 8:30 in the morning as I write this.)
Having no idea how to grow the tubers, I went online and found several different methods. Given the annual invasion by little critters that invade the backyard, taking one bite of everything on the vine (couldn’t they just finish one thing?), I chose to plant them in a tub. And by “tub,” I mean a pot that was big enough to bathe a baby.
As instructed, I dutifully added soil to the pot to build up the plants, and I watered “evenly” (or as evenly possible given the torrential downpours we’ve been seeing in New England this summer).
I even moved the pot around to follow the sun. In one tactical error, I didn’t take into account the weight involved in this project. Although the “Spud Tub” is made of plastic, adding the entire contents of a 25 pound bag of soil made it quite heavy. Luckily, I happen to have a wheeled plant stand from a previous attempt at growing citron trees from seed. (Note the word “previous.” After ten years, all I got was blossoms but no fruit.) So all I had to do (once loading the tub onto it. was to push it with my foot.
The plants grew tall and lanky, seemingly by the minute. And now the foliage is beginning to turn yellow, which means that it is time to dig them up. Hubby J did the honors this week, surprising me with a single, perfectly formed fingerling.
Should I save it for the rest of the harvest, or eat this one tiny spud?