Monday, September 30, 2013

Harvesting spuds

Earlier this morning I watched leaves tumble down through thinning trees, as last night's crescent moon faded in the dawn light.

Yesterday we harvested more potatoes from the northwestern patch.  It took some time: uprooting each plant (tracing the vine to its source), digging through about a cubic foot of earth to discover spuds.

Right out of the soil.

Overall this is our biggest crop to date, with three big buckets of spuds in multiple varieties.

If you're curious about the details, our mulch plots did by far the best.  The plots we dug into soil, hilled up, etc. yielded, but not as many potatoes per plant.  So next year we'll expand the mulch.

Now it's time to store 'em.


Megadoom said...

How many potatoes? 128 calories per spud. Consider an average daily calorie need for a male working farmer and it's at minimum 2000/day, actually more to thrive and ward off infection. They look delicious Bryan.

Ceredwyn said...

128 cal/potato is certainly an average, but its better to talk about cal/lb since the sizes are really variable. At the moment, from the mulch potatoes we have had a 125-150lbs yeild from every 25/lbs of seed.

Potatoes are about 325cal/lb which means we have about 40,000calories for every 125lbs. So going by the 2000/day metric, if we ate nothing else, One would need 125-150lbs/month of winter/person stored. In our case, to be one the safe side, we should store 3000lbs of potato.

So we should plant 150lbs/person next year.

Fortunately, thats not all we have to eat this winter :-).

Also, fortunately, Bryan and I are Russian and Celtic respectively. Slow metabolisms growing slower as we age--Us peasants do a good job living through famines. In this world of high fat and high carb junk presented as food, we have to work hard to avoid the diseases that come with too many calories.

Some curious facts about people prone to type 2 diabetes (My whole ethnic group), intermittant starvation actually makes cells more sensitive to insulin. Almost as if the body expects to have certain period of fasting.

Also, Vit D is stored in fat cells. As one loses weight, the Vit D is released into the blood. For us sun sensitive Northern European types, seems one cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder would be to diet after Christmas.

Interesting that a *little* (a very little) starvation serves the body well.