It began with finding a total of eleven rather small and somewhat spongy potatoes in a large bag of just purchased russets. Each was showing an impressive number of eyes and tiny sprouts. It was already July… much too late in our short growing season to be planting potatoes… but…
I decided to plant the potatoes whole instead of cutting them into sections and waiting the extra days for the cut portions to heal over. For two weeks nothing happened. Then the plants started to show… and they grew and grew and grew. We kept adding more of the composted “black soil” leaf mold.. and eventually even side supports to help keep the vines covered with the leaf mold as they grew. When the vines got to be nearly five feet high, we gave up and just let them grow.
By this time the vines had produced an abundance of beautiful blue flowers and multiple clumps of tomato-like “berries.” People who knew about growing potatoes warned us not to expect to find any potatoes under those massive piles of leaf mold, and that so much lush foliage and so many potato berries were sure signs that no potatoes were being formed.
We dug the potatoes a few days ago…
The majority of the potatoes weighed between eight and ten ounces. A few weighed between six and eight ounces. We didn’t include anything in the count that was smaller than six ounces.
So how many six to ten ounce potatoes did we get? A grand total of one hundred and thirty-one!
How do you suppose THAT happened?