More Adventures in the Backyard Jungle

Earlier in the spring, when we were at the height of our planting frenzy, G. noticed that I had a couple of small potatoes at the end of a bag that were growing “eyes”. “You know,” she said in her best farm girl way, “if you plant those eyes, they will grow into potatoes.”

Now, I don’t know from growing potatoes. I’ve heard the term “seed potatoes” but I figured if these potatoes were from a bag I had got at the store, they weren’t “seed” type. Whatever, I said, I’m not going to eat them so plant away. She cut each eye into its own individual piece, and planted them near what would become the tomato jungle.

They sprouted. The plants were really pretty, and then they flowered with little purple/white flowers that sort of reminded me of sweet peas. Then we went to Denver for the convention, and when we came back, a couple of the plants were turning yellow. I thought they just needed water, but G. said that when the plants turn yellow is the time to dig for potatoes.

So, I went and got her the pitchfork, and she started digging as I stood by and held my breath. We got these from ONE plant:

She pulled up another basket full tonight (another single plant), and I think there’s maybe 6 or 7 plants left…

We also noticed after having been gone for a week, that we had a fairly significant number of ears of corn that were beginning to tassel. Considering we only planted 2 rows, and at most you MIGHT get 2 ears off a stalk, it seemed to be a good “crop”. Some of the tassels were turning brown on the end, so we took the leap and pulled 2 ears:

I gotta tell you, that was probably the best ear of corn I ever ate, and the fluffiest, most delicious steamed potato! Do you know that I actually don’t remember when we went grocery shopping last? I think it was weekend before last when the boys were coming over. We have eaten out of the garden and used meat items that we had already in the freezer, etc.

Tonight, I cooked some of the freshly dug potatoes, tossed some snap beans on top to steam with them, then heated up some mixed greens (beet, chard, and kale) that I had cooked with a little ham last night, and a squash casserole that I made. G. made a big bowl of pico-de-gallo with our tomatoes, the last of our onions, and some of the hot pepers which rounded out the whole thing. Talk about a fabulous dinner! This year, we have eaten out of the garden more than ever before. I think the value of home-grown food is really hitting home. We’ve even ordered some specific tomato seeds for next year already. Honestly, I encourage everyone to plant something edible next year and see how impacts your grocery bill.

And with bread at $4.00 a loaf (WTF?!?!), I’m going to start making our own. I have a great recipe with just a bit of cornmeal that makes a really nice slicing bread and G. has been wanting to try salt rising bread, which doesn’t even need yeast. Don’t worry, pictures will follow!

So, tomorrow, I will be loading up a couple of goodie bags and taking them to friends that I promised things to. It’s great to eat out of the garden, but honestly, I love giving it away to friends even more!

So, if you ever want to visit southern Colorado, come in the summer time, and you’ll get some fresh veggies! I DARE you not to eat them and fall in love…



5 thoughts on “More Adventures in the Backyard Jungle

  1. I vaguely remember my dad growing potatoes when I was a kid. I can’t get over how you got so many out of one. Wow. The more I read about everyone’s gardens the more I want to try one next summer. We did pretty well with some herbs and one lone potted tomato on the deck this summer. Who knows what we’ll try next year.

    Bread is $4.00 a loaf? Holy shit! We don’t eat it, except for the occasional splurge for cinnamon raisin bread. I had no idea it had gone up like that. That’s just ridiculous. How do large families afford to eat?!!

  2. Sassy, what I said! I went to the store after not going for just a couple of weeks and BAM! We don’t eat a lot bread usually, but in summer, gotta have those BLTs and tomato sammies!!


  3. When you post the pics of your bread, would you kindly post the recipe for the salt bread? Mr. EM loves to bake bread and has been talking about making enough so we don’t have to purchase it through our food co-op any more. I know he’ll be dying to try out a recipe that doesn’t use yeast!

    Your garden sounds delightful. We subscribe to a community garden ourselves, but we’re talking about trying to grow some of our own stuff next year. Our boys are strawberry addicts, to the point that our CSA can’t keep up with them and the strawberries at the store are just…well, YUCK!

  4. Mrs. EM, would be happy to post the recipe. I will probably make the “base” tomorrow and make the bread on Sunday, since it’s my day off!

    Keep your fingers crossed that it works!!


  5. We like to pick the tomatoes and eat them off the vine. Other than that we ended up with one bell pepper. 🙂 We aren’t very good with veggies but we are learning.

    Your feast sounds wonderful.

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