Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ya Want The Good News Or The Bad News First?

Aw heck, I'll give ya the bad first and get it out of the way.

Because of our warmer than usual growing season, my Red Kuri squash have been lookin' pretty darn good. But now that we have plummeted into our fall temps and the days are wonderfully cool and crisp, I've been afraid the squash wouldn't be able to make it that last step toward ripe maturity.

Today I decided to cut one open to see how it looked. I picked the smallest one I could find, brought it in and opened it up.

Rats. Still a good ways from ripe. When ripe the flesh should look almost orange, like it does way out toward the rind at the edge of this squash.

Then I got to thinking that since I chose a very small squash for testing, wouldn't that mean it was a "young" squash and hadn't had as much time to grow as one of the larger ones?

Back out into the garden to harvest a good-sized one. Alas and alack, it looked just the same inside as the first little one. Sad to say, I just don't think they will have enough time and/or warm weather to make it (again!) this year. (Where's that large hoop greenhouse when I need it?)

Okay, forget the squash. On to the good news.

I planted two rows of red potatoes and two rows of white potatoes this year. The vines have been dead and shriveled for a while now but I haven't gone out to the patch to sneak even one potato until today. I was fixing dinner and wanted to make mashed potatoes with gravy to go with Swiss Steak so asked hubby to grab a spading fork and bucket and follow me out to the garden. If the potato harvest was going to be anything like last year's pitiful offering, we would have to dig a bit for even enough for our meal today.

Holy spuds, Batman! This was just from the very first plant we dug up. Six pounds and one ounce of beautiful, firm potatoes. The big one in front weighed in at one pound by itself.

If this is indicative of what the rest of the harvest will be like, we will have more than enough potatoes to eat and share this winter.

So let's look at it this way: If you had to choose one . . . potatoes or squash . . . of which would you rather have an ample supply? Yup, I'd take potatoes every time, and be very grateful.


Jennifer Jo said...

I'd take potatoes, too!

By the way, I like your new header.

Sue said...

Yea for potatoes! I'm glad you're looking at a good harvest.
Sorry about the squash--it's a shame--so pretty. I'm drowning in Butternut Squash if you're interested. Makes a fine Christmas Gift--heehee! One plant. TWENTY FOUR BUTTERNUTS. Ack. I wanted

Sue said...

And yea---I like the new header too!! Very pretty!

Erin said...

I'd take potatoes any day! I only eat squash because it's expected of me since I'm a gardener LOL! Seems like the rest of the garden world had a terrible potato year, but they all went north apparently! Did you peek in the cages you did this year? If you get a ton out of those too I am going to be depressed, I only got 6 lbs total this year I think out of 3 straw cages! And Swiss Steak and mashed red potatoes? YUM!! That's one of my favorites!

Susan said...

Potatoes, hands down. Those are some gorgeous taters, Mama Pea!

Mama Pea said...

JJ - Thank you! I took it last year. Maple leaves fallen on Baby's Breath.

Sue - I have to go count how many Red Kuri I've got out there. There were 5 plants and the description said to expect 2-3 per plant but I know I've got more than that. But your 24 from one plant is . . . amazing!

Erin - Nope, I've yet to investigate my experimental potatoes in their "cage." But I'll be sure to give you a report.

I mashed the reds with their skins on; i.e.,Farm Potatoes . . . mmmm, good!

Susan - Thank you, ma'am! Now I want to go check the white potatoes to see if they look as prolific!

Jo said...

I think it was Mrs. Ingalls who made an apple pie out of green pumpkin. Perhaps there is a use for your young squash after all?? Although I haven't given it a try myself!

Mama Pea said...

Jo - I may have to resort to something like that!

Leigh said...

Yum, those potatoes look really good. Too bad about the squash though. Gardening sure is unpredictable.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I wouldn't have wasted any garden space on squash at all so need I say I'd take the potatoes any day??

Lorie said...

Congrats Mama Pea on those lovely potatoes. So far that veggie has not been successful in my garden, but I will try again as being a good Irish girl, it is my absolute favorite veggie.

I'm with Erin on the squash...but with lots of butter and brown sugar or maple syrup, it become somewhat tolerable.

Stephanie said...

I agree Mama Pea!! Potatoes all the way:) Especially for my growing 14yo, who is addicted to mashed lol.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

I love your new photo on top!

I remember the first year we planted potatoes and how shocked I was at the difference from store bought! They almost snapped when you cut them! Gotta love it!

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Unpredictably unpredictable! I did nothing different this year with the potatoes so how come last year's crop wasn't worth diddly??

Jen - Aw come on! Have you tasted good squash with lots of butter, salt and pepper? Oh. And you still don't like it??

Lorie - Thanks, but I sure don't know what I did to get a good crop this year. (Hard to repeat if you don't know what you're doing, huh?)

Stephanie - Mashed potatoes are such a comfort food for many people!

Apple Pie Gal - Ain't that the truth with all homegrown veggies? Totally different than store bought.