Grow Your Own

No, that isn't a hoard of aliens come to attack my camera. They're the sprouting potatoes I found at the very back of my 'root cellar'. They're still perfectly edible, and I will get around to it in time. But they are also just right for popping in the ground. 

Now I know, if you are an experienced gardener you are probably cringing at the thought of planting grocery store sprouted spuds. I've read in countless books and magazines that only certified seed potatoes should ever get planted. I am sure that holds true for anyone who is serious about their potato harvest, but as much as I love my tubers, I am not an avid potato grower. I neither have the space to grow lots, nor have I ever had much success with them. In fact, my best harvests have been from peelings that sprouted in the compost bin, or sprouters I threw in a pot.

So if you have a few alien spuds, just throw them in a bit of soil. You don't even need a garden, a pot on a windowsill will do. You might not a bumper crop, but you will get a few spuds, at least enough for a meal or two. You will get a kick out of seeing where your food comes from, and those spuds will be saved from the compost heap (or worse, from the garbage dump)! The flowers are quite pretty too, and much appreciated by bees. It's all win-win.

The best part of it is that you don't even need to have green thumbs: given enough love, some water, and a few hours of sunlight, potatoes are pretty much self-sufficient. Some gardeners swear by planting their sprouters in re-purposed garbage bins and other deep receptacles; again, I've never had great success with these. It just might mean that I am not fit to become a potato farmer, but I usually contend myself with a deep planter or a 6 gallon plastic pot (the kind of pot large perennial plants are sold in.)

Happy gardening, and bon app'!


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