Last week we were invited short notice to a good friend's house for a small potluck during the olympic opening ceremony. She lives just down the road with her husband and two young kids, and is the one who watches Little M a couple days a week. We're really lucky to have her in our lives in so many ways, and I'm glad to say we've become friends as well as neighbors in the couple years that we've lived here.
Since we had already done our last shopping trip of the month for the remaining meals on our monthly meal plan, and none of those meals were really potluck friendly, I had to scrounge around a bit to come up with something to bring. I really wanted to bring this new potato casserole dish we've been loving lately, but we were out of potatoes.
Then I thought of the garden. Our potato plants had all flowered weeks ago, but weren't showing signs of dying back yet. Since last year we harvested our potatoes in late September, I wasn't sure if the new potatoes would be large enough or plentiful enough yet to be worth harvesting so early, since it's still July. I decided I would harvest one plant, and hope that it would provide enough potatoes. We grew 3 rows of potatoes this year, with about 5 plants in each row. One row of Russet's, one row of Yukon Gold's, and one row of Red Pontiac's. Of course I managed to forget which I planted where, so when I dug one plant out of the row between the cucumbers and the carrots it was a surprise that I ended up with Yukon Gold's.
The other surprise was how many I got from just one plant - over 4 pounds! 10 medium-large potatoes in all, definitely plenty to make my potluck casserole with! Not only was there more individual potatoes than I expected to get from just one plant, but they were far larger than I was expecting as well!
Now that we have this dish in addition to sides like baked potatoes, double baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and hash browns, I'll have to re-evaluate how many pounds, and thus approximately how many potato plants, that we need to grow each year to tide us through to the following harvest. I'm sure that this year we won't have enough to last and we'll have to buy some to supplement, but in the 4 summers that we've been gardening here, our potato harvest has come a long way, with last year being the first real success, so even if the rest of the plants this summer don't produce much, which I doubt, we'll still have done as well or much better than last year.
Our pig, who we've named Pat, as in Pat the pig, or Pat that porker, or any other funny combination you can think of on the spot, came home with us last night. This morning was a bit of a rush around getting everything together and out the door as I had an early dentist appointment (which revealed my first ever filling - ick!), and everything was made later due to Little M discovering how to lock the new car (really a SUV, and nicknamed Pierre, whom I really should do a post on at some point to introduce you to him). So she locked the car with the keys inside using the keyless entry buttons on the door. Apparently if you push the 7/8 and 9/0 buttons at the same time it locks the car. Oops. After the mister ended up late for work by spending an hour with a coathanger getting the door open, our morning was pretty much shot. Hence potato post today, pig post later in the week once I have time to get decent photos!