The Weekly Digs #237

by Becky

Potato Planting

The whole family was out today for a big planting day. We got our year’s supply of potatoes in the ground! Last year I thought our harvest of potatoes was plenty but after finishing planting out all the potatoes for seed today, we only have about 30 lbs left in our cold room. 

Instead of planting one row down a 30 inch bed, we planted 2 rows spaced 12 inches apart. We planted the potatoes for this year in front of our caterpillar tunnel.

The garden beds there are 36 inches wide because of the width of the tunnel (14ft). So we had a little more space to do the two rows on each bed.

The variety we planted is Kennebec. I’ve tried many varieties but Kennebec does the best in our climate and tastes good too.

Sweet Potatoes

Speaking of potatoes in storage… 

We probably have about 75-100 lbs of sweet potatoes left! Our go-to is making sweet potato fries. We got tired of regular sweet potatoes that are baked but sweet potato fries never really get old. 

At this point, I’m going to need to come up with some creative ways to use them. I could always feed some to the chickens to save money on purchased feed but I’d like to use as many sweet potatoes as possible for our food first. 

I’m definitely open to suggestions on favorite meals or ways to use sweet potatoes.

Other Garden Notes

  • Carrots popped up this week! Germination was excellent! I was worried about how large the pieces in the compost were but it wasn’t an issue. (Wrote a new blog post on tips and methods to get your carrots to sprout well HERE)
  • Moved lemon and lime plants to the high tunnel. I refreshed them with new soil and compost. Truthfully, I’m not great at taking care of plants indoors or in pots. These plants have suffered. But now that they are visible I’m feeling confident they will get better!

The Last Week of the Pantry Challenge!

Our three months of no grocery shopping is coming to an end in a few days. My kids are so excited to get some of the things that we have run out of in the pantry and in storage.

One of the most interesting parts about doing a no grocery shopping time is seeing what we run out of first. Here’s a list in order:

  • Yogurt – thought I got enough of this but it was the first thing to go!
  • Cocoa powder – we substituted carob powder for a lot of recipes instead of using cocoa. I didn’t realize my stock was so low at the start of the challenge.
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese- I’m not surprised we ran out. My kids eat way too much of this if it’s available all the time. We tried to help them ration it but it didn’t work.
  • Popcorn seeds – This is a go-to snack for us. We seriously had like 20 lbs or so and I can’t believe we ate it all. 
  • Butter- We bought so much butter before we started but it wasn’t enough. We’ve been using lard in baked goods. It’s a great alternative.
  • All purpose flour- Luckily, I have some sifting pans that I can sift out the wheat germ and make a homemade all purpose flour from freshly ground wheat. 
  • Mustard- Cam made some homemade mustard from mustard seed to substitute

I’m sure there are a few more things but those are the main ones. We used up a lot of canned and frozen food. There are few things we made last year that we won’t make again, one of those being frozen stewed zucchini. I would thaw a quart and then the only person to eat it was me. 

I documented a few of our last meals for the challenge on video. I hope to get them up on Youtube next week!

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Amy March 31, 2024 - 12:32 pm

I do a roast of sweet potato, cabbage, onion, and regular potatoes that is good. Easy and pretty quick. Add rosemary sometimes.

Katie C. March 31, 2024 - 2:16 pm

On the Skinny Taste blog, look for ground turkey, sweet potato and bean skillet. Super yummy. There are also sweet potato, black bean bowls

Allee Vanderwall April 2, 2024 - 7:55 pm

Hi Becky, I was wondering what type of pressure canner you have and what your outdoor setup (outdoor burner?) consist of for pressure canning. Looking to get something before I need to start preserving thanks!

Becky April 7, 2024 - 3:52 am

I have them both linked on this page Go to “Kitchen Favorites” it has the Outdoor burner first and if you scroll down a bit you’ll see the pressure canner too.

K.L. April 5, 2024 - 2:39 pm

Our family’s favorite rolls are the sweet potato rolls in the Einkorn cookbook. Sooo moist and yummy!

Becky April 7, 2024 - 3:41 am

Ooh that sounds yummy! I will look that up!

Lora April 12, 2024 - 6:51 pm

I julienne sweet potatoes and cook them with a little oil, seasonings, and onions similar to hash browns. Very tasty. I should try them shredded but haven’t yet.

Becky April 14, 2024 - 2:50 am

That sounds delicious! I need to try it!

Carrie April 13, 2024 - 3:40 pm

So about how many pounds of potatoes did you plant this year with adding in more rows? Also is there anything special you add for amendments. I struggle with them. Also what is your best guess you get for a harvest from one plant. Thanks for sharing. I love your blog and youtube channel!

Becky April 14, 2024 - 2:55 am

I actually don’t even have a good guess as to how many pounds of potatoes. We took out two containers worth. Maybe 30lbs? I add kelp meal, compost, and a prebiotic called Ultra (I mix an ounce per gallon of water) at planting. If you are in a hot area make sure you’re planting early enough and burying them in the soil. I also never had good potato yields until I switched to organic potato seed. Hope that helps! – Becky

Laurie April 15, 2024 - 11:53 pm

I make a sweet potato black bean chili and I also make a sweet potato pound cake.

Becky April 21, 2024 - 5:21 am

Thanks for sharing! I’ve never heard of sweet potato pound cake! I’ll have to find a recipe!


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