Thursday, August 11, 2011

Raising Potatoes...and Ultrarunning

When we first moved to south central PA as newlyweds, the bride and I rented a trailer in the country and started a garden.

I soon heard the expression "raising potatoes" and naturally assumed it meant the complete life cycle act of growing potatoes, much like you'd raise a pet goat or a child.

Wrong.  Around here the term has a very specific and narrow meaning, namely, the act of digging one's potato crop out of the ground.  Thus one might grow potatoes, followed by raising same.  Get it?

Anyway, this past weekend the tops of all my potato plants had just about died off and it was time to raise them.  No further growth would be taking place underground anyway.  You dig carefully from the side with a digging spade; even so, you will spear and thus ruin a couple potatoes.

My garden is small and I cannot devote copious space to the tubers.  So my raw yield consisted of two 5-gal buckets, which I sorted into 3 sizes as depicted in my photo above.

I prefer the red potatoes simply because in a home garden you get a lot of small ones, which are great for special or elegant dishes.

And the obligatory connection to Ultrarunning?  That's easy: many folks just love cut-up chunks of potatoes dipped in salt at aid stations during our races.  Me, not so much; I go for stuff that both protein and carbs, such as turkey and cheese sandwiches.


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