It may not look like much, but I gathered in the first harvest of the year.
This is just the start, though. Since the potatoes that volunteered in the compost pile (denying me use of half of said pile) sprouted first, they were also ready to harvest first. I still have two more potato beds to go, which should yield many more potatoes, but the first harvest is always exciting, no matter how little it produces.
There is more to harvesting potatoes, though, than digging them up out of the ground. Unless they are destined for that night’s dinner table, potatoes need to cure, and toughen up their skins. To do that, I spread them out on our deck table.
This lets the dirt dry enough that it can be brushed off the potatoes without bruising them. Washing them is a bad idea, because it can let rot set in.
After the dirt has fallen off, usually a full afternoon, it is time to sort the potatoes. No matter how careful I am, some of the potatoes end up being scarred by the potato fork.
These fingerlings are still perfectly fine to eat, but if they are put in storage with the rest, rot will eventually set in. Instead, I put them in the bin of potatoes to be eaten soon, while the rest of the harvest gets set in our pantry.
Over the course of the winter, most of the potato harvest will be eaten, but some is usually left to seed next year’s crop.