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Sunday 10 July 2016

He Builds A Nest Out Of Straw And Dirt. Then Throws An Old Potato In The Middle. 35 Days Later? WOW!

He Builds A Nest Out Of Straw And Dirt. Then Throws An Old Potato In The Middle. 35 Days Later? WOW! 

Growing your own food is perhaps one of the most rewarding things that you can do, and one woman invented an extremely efficient and simple way of growing potatoes that blow you away!

Laurie Ashbach, from the blog Dan 330 came up with this genius way of growing potatoes with only a few square feet of space, which allows you to grow lots of potatoes, and allows you to have more room to grow other foods if you want too!

 All you will need for this project is:

  • 4 fence posts
  • An eight foot section of wire section, about four feet high
  • Wire cutters
  • A bale of straw
  • Compost and bags of dirt
  • Seed potatoes
  • Laurie got seed potatoes from the Seed Savers Exchange in the winter, and were delivered to her in the spring, just in time for planting.
 It may seem like extra effort, but making sure you use organic potato seeds will really ensure that you will grow top quality potatoes.

Seed Savers Exchange describes itself as “A non-profit, member-supported organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations.”
 Start out by inserting your fence posts into the ground to make a square. Ensure that it is a least a few square feet, but you can make it as big or small as you want.
 Next, bend the fence around the posts. Laurie and her husband bent the ends of the fence to tie together to ensure that the fence was secure.

The hay was then thrown in.  Looks kind of like a nest right?

Compost was then added to the hay in the center:
 Time for planting!  The potatoes were cut and planted.  Try to have each piece of potato contain at least four eyes.  (An eye is like a seed)
 Laurie talked about her yield, saying, “I started with 2 pounds of potatoes, which translated to 8 medium potatoes with about 4 eyes each which meant there were 36 eyes total to plant.  About 9 eyes were placed around the outside edge of the nest in 4 layers.  Next year I will double the number of potatoes per tower and keep going up.  On the top, I planted the eyes right in the middle so they could grow up,”
 The potatoes were planted on the first of June, and by the Fourth Of July looked like this!
 Foliage and flowers; things are looking up.
 Laurie stresses how important it is to keep the potatoes watered, she even recommends setting up a soaker hose.
 At the end of summer, Laurie was ready to harvest, super exciting!
 Laurie also recommends not watering before harvesting so that you do not need to dig through mud.

What a fruitful harvest!

It is amazing how many potatoes Laurie was able to grow in such a small space.  This is a great sustainable way of farming for anybody with small space and big appetites!

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