I dug up our potato crop this morning. The stems had died down several weeks ago so I knew they were ready. I hate to say it but I was very disappointed with the less than expected productivity of these expensive seeds potatoes I bought from Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine.
I purchased what they call the “Experimenters Special” for $19.99. This is a kind of sampler box with four different potato varieties, four of each variety a way to experiment and to test to see which variety works best in your zone and your soil type.
I was so excited about finding organic seed potatoes as I have not found them easy to locate. I had no luck at all locally or regionally. Then when I discovered this sampler box, I though what fun that could be. I remember thinking that $19.95 for 12 tubers was a bit high but I reminded myself that these were certified organic and I would have to pay more for that certification. And, I was supporting a small, family owned business so I decided to order them.
But when the charge card bill came for the $52.00 total, I was in shock. The tax, shipping and handling on this one small box of 12 seed potatoes was over $32.00. The was one of those very rare times that I did not ask for shipping costs ahead of time and I certainly should have – my mistake and a hard lesson learned.
I carefully planted the tubers in different areas of my garden and marked each variety with a paint stick with the variety name written on it as well as the date of planting. Because I was testing these potatoes I wanted to be sure I could at dig up time tell exactly what was what. They were planted in my Zone 5b garden, in shallow raised beds with our sandy soil that has been amended over the years with compost and bark chips. After they sprouted I put bark chips over the top to keep the moisture in. These potatoes were in the full sun and were well watered throughout the season.
Today when I dug them up I was quite disappointed. The least amount of potatoes in an area from three tubers was two potatoes and the most potatoes in another area were seven small ones. I had planted 12 tubers and I dig up a total of 23 small potatoes. Good grief! That was certainly not what I expected or had hoped for.
Can you imagine my distress? Ultimately I paid $52.00 and some change for 23 small organic potatoes… I guess I will be buying organic potatoes from here on out at the grocery store.
For the record these tubers were planted on 4-10-15 and dug up on 9-25-15.
Small House Homesteader, Donna