Ever since my sister Louise gave Michelle and me a membership to the Potato of the Month club, I’ve fantasized about growing my own potatoes. Potatoes are just about the most versatile foods in the world – it’s hard to believe that baked spuds and French fries come from the same vegetable – and are surely food of the gods.
All new ventures are enhanced by shiny new equipment—and preferably multiple iPhone apps — so before I bought my seed potatoes, I ordered a variety of garden paraphernalia from the Gardeners Supply Company, a catalog and Internet company in hippie haven Burlington, Vermont. I felt slightly guilty for getting dirt shipped from another state, but Gardener’s Supply is now completely worker-owned, so I figure it balances out my carbon sins.
One of my purchases was the “Potato Success Kit” which included a specially designed “Potato Grow Bag,” 3 bags of Container Mix, and fertilizer — just add potatoes. In case you’ve never heard of a Grow Bag, it’s a black, ugly-looking polyproprylene fabric bag that is apparently designed for fools, because the catalog describes it as foolproof. It sounded perfect.
Gardener’s Supply also sells potatoes, if you want them, but I figured I’d rather buy my own potatoes along with my other plants. As a newbe vegetable farmer, it didn’t occur to me that my local nursery might not have potatoes around whenever I wanted them. The garden centers are still teaming with tomato plants, herbs, and all kinds of vegetables, but after visiting and calling all over Boston, I learned that there are no seed potatoes to be bought in Beantown in late June.
So it was back to the web site to order my spuds on line. I’m anxiously awaiting my shipment. Apparently, potatoes don’t like super hot weather any more than I do, so I don’t know whether I’ll have any to harvest this fall. But I can always reuse my potato grow bag next year.