Sunday, October 11, 2009

Plenty Peppers, Paltry Potatoes

This past Friday before the predicted snow, we decided we'd better dig our potatoes and harvest the sweet peppers we had under a cold frame. It was gonna get colder than any protection the cold frame could provide for the peppers I was babying along, trying to encourage to all turn red.

Although not all of them made it to the vitamin-rich, tastier red stage, I sure do have a passel of peppers with which to make Stuffed Peppers! I haven't made an actual count but the two pails in the back are both 5-gallon ones. I've got them in cold storage right now and the way my week is shaping up, it's gonna be a struggle to get them done and in the freezer. But do it I will, because they make such an easy, convenient meal that we both like a lot and have missed the last couple of months since we ran out of last year's supply.

We harvested only 106 pounds of taters from approximately 90 feet of plantings. Boo-hiss. Thumbs down. Not good. But considering all four rows of the reds were hit by the blight, maybe we should be thankful we got what we did. You can see that we have lots and lots of small ones. If they had all sized up, we'd have enough to share . . . and some to spare!

This is the second year in a row that our potatoes haven't amounted to much. No blight last year to blame it on. Usually, root crops are easy for us to grow in our climate, so I don't know quite what's going on with the spuds.

When we were digging the potatoes, we commented that if we were one of the early homesteading families up here with six growing kids to feed, it would be a disasterous harvest. But as it is, we'll just eat more rice this winter. That's okay. Rice is good.

Plus, we'll have lots of Stuffed Peppers to consume!


  1. Stuffed peppers? Mmmmmmmm.
    Sorry your tater harvest wasn't what you were hoping for. If this were pioneer times, a LOT of folks would be hungry this winter. It was a bad growing year period!
    NEXT YEAR..............

  2. Hi, Sue - Because so many people gave gardening a first-time try this year (the economy and all), it's a shame we ALL had such a wonky weather season. I'm sure it discouraged many who may not try again.

    But for us tried and true "old" gardeners, NEXT YEAR is our mantra!

    It just reminds me of those who farm for a living. We'll get by just fine with our puny potato crop, but what if we had been raising them for a cash crop?

  3. I too, feel many new gardeners will give up after the season we all had - but the upside is that maybe they will be turned on to at least buying local from farms and markets! I know you are disappointed with your potatoes, but they look awesome to me! This year I didn't do many since it was my first year, but next year I will plant many more and look for a variety that stores a little better than the fingerlings - although I will plant those again too, Deliciious! I, too, am going out to get my peppers now, I don't think they are going to get any larger so I better get 'em before your cold front hits us tomorrow.

  4. Erin - I was thinking as far as storage for you potatoes, carrots, etc. (since you don't have a basement or root cellar), could you find space for an extra refrig? Root crops would keep well for several months in there. Like maybe in the back of the garage or something like that?

  5. MamaPea, I WISH I even had a garage, lol! Someday I am going to do a post about our house... 4 of us, 1000 ft sq, no garage! But we do live large in our little space, and are pretty efficient and don't hoard a thing. I call it a "social experiment" to see how long we can get along in our tiny abode. Our large yard makes up for alot in the summertime though! My husband is already trying to come up with a way to fit an extra fridge he can convert to a 'kegerator' for his homebrew!

  6. I'm sure you've posted your recipe for stuffed peppers at some point along the way; I will have to search your blog for it. I've never had them before, and you recommend them so highly, I will have to try!

  7. Hi, Jo - The stuffed pepper recipe was was printed on October 2, 2008. If you go down to the very bottom of my home page and click on "Recipes" you'll find it way down on that page.

    Hope it works for you if you get a chance to try it.

  8. Disappointing harvest for sure Mama Pea, but then you guys never really had much summer either did you?
    I had some disappointments in my garden too this year, but it was a good lesson and I'll definitely be doing some things differently next summer.

  9. Ruthie - Yup, that's the interesting thing about gardening . . . it never remains just the same. I always have a bunch of notes to myself at the end of each season detailing things to try or do differently. I think (hope?) we keep improving as gardeners, no?