Fifteen hundred pounds of seed potatoes, delivered on this cold and lowery day, await the knife, their reduction into ounce-and -a- half chunks. Those 15,000 pieces of seed will plant 10,000 feet of row.
We await warmth enough to get the soil into the mid- 50 degree range. That temp will awaken the eyes. Hopefully the earth will not be so soaked as to rot the seed.
It is all such a crap shoot. Hours and days of work to set the maximum possible yield are followed by longer days and hours still, preserving that potential from losses threatened of drought, disease and insects.
In my mind’s eye, the field looks gorgeous; bright green bushy plants, cleanly cultivated and dotted with the bright white blooms that signal the initiation of the new tubers. Planted in mid-May, a favorable spring will allow for pea and new potato soup for Independence Day.
We plant 500 pounds each of Superior, an early yielder, Kennebec, a round white standard variety, and Green Mountain. This last is reputed as the best baking potato, flaky and fluffy. Its eating quality is such that the state of Maine made its reputation on the Green Mountain potato.
Today was also the seeding of the third of five batches of cabbage seed. The two thousand seeds are sown with an ingenious vacuum device lifts them, perfectly spaced and singulated, for transfer to the flats where they will grow until transplant time.
These too will be set out at their maximum potential to face the vagaries of summer weather and the certainty of cabbage moths that will bob across the field, so white and pretty.
It feels like pre-game jitters, checking to make sure the implements are ready, all the supplies on hand. We need some warm, dry days with wind to dry the ground for tillage.
Last year we gave away over 30,000 of produce and hope to boost that by a third this year. Can’t wait to start!