By Fredrica Syren:
Growing potatoes is so much fun, and they taste way better than store bought potatoes. Most people believe you need a huge space to grow them, when, as a matter of fact, potatoes grow very well in pots. This way, you can plant a few pots and not even need a garden at all. Actually, before moving to her house, my mom would grow them on her balcony; and I have had more luck with cultivating my potatoes in pots rather than in my vegetable garden.
With today’s society fearing carbs, potatoes have gotten a bad rep, so many people are skipping these wonderful little vegetables. The potato, for sure, has not been recognized for its nutritional content. A potato contains about 620 mg of potassium, which is more than a banana has. Potatoes are high in fiber but low in fat, and they contain nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Most of the nutrients are in the skin, though, so don’t peel it off; instead, cook them with the skin on. My favorite way to eat potatoes is roasted with rosemary.
Whether you’re planning to grow your own potatoes in a pot, a raised bed or in your garden, first start with some good quality organic potatoes. Leave them in a paper bag at room temperature until they sprout. You can use any potatoes but smaller ones are easier. When they have developed sprouts, plant one potato 3 inches deep in organic soil. All you have to do now is to make sure the soil does not dry out. Large greens will emerge, and when they start looking as if they are starting to wilt or beginning to bloom, the potatoes are ready.
To harvest your potatoes, simply pull up the potato greens gently. You will see potatoes hanging in the roots, so just remove them. You will also see the potato you originally planted. Throw it away. After removing the potatoes hanging from the roots, dig through the soil because some potatoes will hide there.
My kids absolutely love growing potatoes and have so much fun harvesting them with me. Before we started growing our own potatoes, my kids did not like eating them. Now they happily eat them. I guess this is the lesson about how kids connect to food when they get to see it grow.
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes:
- 2 cups red skin potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
- 1⁄2 Tbsp. salt
Preheat oven to F400.
Dice the potatoes with skin on. Place potatoes on baking sheet in a single layer. Pour oil, then sprinkle rosemary and salt over them. Using hands, toss potatoes to coat all pieces with the oil, salt and herbs. Bake for 15-25 minutes until potatoes are crisp, browned and don’t taste waxy.