Today, I harvested the last of our potato crop. The proprietor of Seattle's wonderful Portage Bay Grange told me that as long as you get 6 hours of sunlight a day, you can survive with nothing but a potato patch and a goat. Potatoes have carbs and Vitamin C, and goat milk has fat and protein. Plus, goats can eat potatoes. I like a little more variety, and El Cerrito's rules on backyard livestock don't yet allow full-time dairy goats, but I have to say, I'm sold on growing my own potatoes.
The potato patch sign, to explain why I had a raised garden bed full of dead leaves and stems.
The potato harvest has been going on for months. Every now and then, I dig up a section of the potato bed. Unblemished potatoes go into our state-of-the-art potato storage unit — a paper grocery bag in a dark corner of the living room. The top stays open to allow air circulation, but the inside stays dark and cool enough that the potatoes don't turn green or sprout.
Potatoes with any scratches or soft spots get cooked up right away — usually tossed with olive oil, some garden herbs, and salt, then roasted. The fresh-out-of-the-garden potatoes roast up crispier on the outside and fluffier on the inside than store bought ones. It's magical, I tell you.