Sunday, July 1, 2012

Potato Beetles No More

For me, the most satisfying vegetable to grow in Vermont is the potato. You just drop them into a trench, cover them up and watch them soon sprout from the soil.  This year Asa has taken on potato responsibility, meaning they have been hilled many times which allows for easy harvest in fluffy ground, and decreases the amount of sunlight touching any of the growing spuds (turning them green).  It is also the weed free area of the farm!  After each bed is harvested it gets seeded to salad greens. 

We sell the majority of our potatoes as new, meaning smaller size and fresh.  They have just finished flowering, have not been mowed for curing, and are deliciously tender with soft skin.  We grow many varieties- white skin white flesh, red skin red flesh, red skin white flesh, yukon gold, russet and more.   

The one struggle to potato growing in our area is the Colorado Potato Beetle, quite a population exists in the Mad River Valley.  These nasty striped beetles will defoliate the plants and greatly decrease yield if not managed.  Thanks to our work-traders who hand-picked, squashed, fed to chickens, and actually cooked up for a potluck all the beetles, larvae and eggs.  It was out of control for awhile, but now those potatoes are free of beetles and flourishing under and above the ground.  

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