Welcome to “The Earthy Alchemist,” where we dive headfirst into the captivating world of gardening and the wonders of the natural realm.
As the dandelions bloom and nature signals the perfect time to plant potatoes, I can’t help but feel like an excited child at the window. Although Mark and I have retired from our gardening business, Homegrown Harvest, our passion for gardening knows no bounds. With a focus on savoring the flavors of homegrown delights, we craft our garden with our stomachs in mind. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like homemade potato soup or salsa made from our bountiful harvests! We can the salsa and freeze portions of the potato soup, ensuring we can enjoy tastes of homegrown goodness even on those tired winter days when starting from scratch seems daunting.
Fabric bags, like the ones we use for growing potatoes, offer remarkable versatility, especially when space is limited or unconventional. You can transform patios, balconies, and driveways with fabric bags into thriving gardens. As long as you have access to adequate light and quality soil, you can grow a wide variety of plants in these bags, from vegetables to herbs and even vibrant flowers. The best part is that the yield can be just as impressive, if not better, than traditional in-ground gardening. We’ve experienced bumper harvests of potatoes, tomatoes, and other crops that rival those grown in traditional beds. And let’s not forget about the convenience factor—harvesting from fabric bags is an absolute breeze. When it’s time to collect your bounty, you only need to dump out the bags and sift through the soil, revealing a treasure trove of homegrown goodness. So whether you’re short on garden space or prefer a more manageable gardening experience, fabric bags are a versatile solution that will deliver impressive results and make your harvests a joy to gather.
Now, if you’re eager to grow your own potatoes, starting with quality seed potatoes is essential. Old grocery store potatoes aren’t recommended since commercially grown varieties prioritize shelf life over flavor. Aren’t we all tired of the same lackluster selection at the local store? I highly recommend exploring reputable sources like the Maine Potato Lady and John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds. The variety of colors, tastes, and textures they offer will mesmerize you. We fell head over heels for the German Butterball, its creamy and buttery texture creating the most heavenly soups.
Once you find a potato variety that tickles your taste buds, I encourage you to save your seed potatoes from the harvest. It’s a satisfying and sustainable practice that ensures a repeat performance of your favorite spuds. As for our preferred method, growing potatoes in grow bags has proven to be an absolute game-changer. Not only does it save planting space, but it also simplifies the harvest process. Just tip over the bags; it becomes an exhilarating potato treasure hunt! The flexibility of the bags allows us to reuse the soil, filling eroded areas and replenishing nutrients through composting.
But that’s not all—grow bags offer even more garden freedom. Once emptied, they can be folded and stored for future use. And guess what? You can enhance the flavor of your tubers by adding companion plants to the tops, such as basil, parsley, or thyme. The beans contribute nitrogen to the soil, while flowers like petunias and marigolds add beauty and beneficial companionship. Lettuce and radishes make excellent companions, too, offering a quick-growing and delicious secondary crop.
Now, let’s discuss one of our favorite recipes—potato soup! Thanks to The Pioneer Woman, we discovered a perfect potato soup that never fails to delight. When you have homegrown potatoes selected explicitly for their creamy texture, you can dial back on the added dairy while still enjoying a luscious soup.
Life is all about embracing new experiences, including stepping into the gardening world. Don’t let fear of the unknown or fear of failure hold you back. Whether trying out fabric bags for growing food or experimenting with new vegetable varieties, taking that first step can be the hardest. But trust me, the fruits of your labor will be incredibly satisfying.
Remember, every seed holds the potential for a bountiful harvest. Embrace the transformative power of gardening and nurture your connection with the natural world.