|The name says it all! :0)|
|You might not want to eat these...but they are perfect for planting!|
Because the eyes were growing well and since eyes of potatoes are really "potato sprouts", we wondered: "If we planted these, would they grow?"
So rather than throwing out the soon-to-be-rotten potatoes-that-no-one-wanted, we pulled them out and examined them. Each of them had at least 5 or 6 eyes and they were fairly spread apart. So Love-Of-My-Life got out his knife and started slicing them apart. He figured that since it was the eye that was the sprout, he could separate them out and they might grow as individual plants. Much like separating out a cluster of tubers in your flower garden. Now instead of one potato to plant…we had 5 or 6! He continued doing this for the rest of the potatoes in our bin…then got the same quality (or lack there of!) of potatoes out of his dad’s bin and repeated the process. By the time he was done, he had a nice big bucket of sprouted potato chunks to plant.
But then we REALLY took a chance. Love-of-My-Life’s mother came out with a big bowl and asked us if we wanted “it”. What was it? It was a bowl full of PEELINGS!!!
Peelings? Why on earth would we want peelings, right? We thought the same thing at first.
But wait…you see when she peels a potato, she actually pares it. Meaning she uses her KNIFE and does more of a slicing than a peeling. This meant she had chunks of peel with eyes attached! Yep, in her effort to use up the last of the potatoes, she had carefully pared them leaving the eyes intact, then used the rest for her mashed potatoes. (If that isn't making your potato go the distance, I don't know what is!) So she was giving us a bowl of peelings with eyes.
Could THESE actually be planted and produce something?
|The peelings with eyes. No smaller than a quarter.|
|Baby Britches helping plant the potatoes|
|Love-of-My-Life sorting through our box of peelings and chunks|
|Carrying the next batch to plant|
So what happened? Well…we waited. And waited. and then....
|Rows of big beautiful lush potato plants!|
We wouldn’t believe it at first, but everything we planted grew to be big beautiful potato plants! They grew phenomenally where we had them planted. Our cat used the patch as a jungle of sorts to explore and snooze in. And at the end of the season (when all the plants lie down), we all eagerly waited to see what we could turn up underneath…for that is where the treasure of the potato hides.
|Treasure hunting under the plants for potatoes|
And low and behold…our peelings had become…POTATOES!
|So excited about the potatoes he found!|
That first year, we harvested 75 lbs of potatoes. Yes, you read that right. From maybe 30-50 almost rotten potatoes that we sliced or pared to keep the eyes (instead of throwing them out like most people do), we harvested 75 lbs of NEW potatoes! It was a definite success and we’ve been using the same process ever since with the same fabulous results! And the cool thing...now the potatoes we are using for our plantings each spring, can all trace their "roots" back to those first few peelings...
|Some of our harvest from last year|
So please—before you go and invest in seed potatoes—look in your potato bin! It’s the real Cinderella story for gardening…for who would have thought you could turn rotten peelings into next years big rugged potato crop?!