Planting Potatoes

Wish I had a picture of the look on The Brown One’s face when I pulled this monster potato out of my store room, but you’ll have to use your imagination.

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“WHAT IS THAT!” He exclaimed.  I told him it was a potato that was trying to grow. I love spontaneous learning activities, so I suggested we cut a piece of it off and  plant it.

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I explained that the funny looking things that were growing out of the potato were roots and that if we cut off a part of the potato and planted it in some soil it would grow more potatoes. So we put this section of it in a pot and cooked the rest for lunch.

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A couple of weeks later The Brown One was delighted to find that his potato was growing!

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Today was warm enough that we thought we could put it outside.

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We put it in the middle of a tire and then  put dirt and some old hay around it.

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Since it was pretty  tall we put another tire over it and more dirt. Then, since it’s still pretty cold and the chickens are able to get into the garden right now, we put a piece of glass on top. We will keep putting tires and dirt around the stem as it grows and see how many potatoes we can grow from this one little potato part.

This is a great little science project. We’ll get a little math in there too when we count the potatoes after we dig them up later.

Rasins

It’s been a long hard winter folks! Our chickens are so happy today! They are finally able to get out of the building.

It’s muddy and they aren’t straying far from the coop, but they will. We’ve been bringing them goodies to eat in the building. The weather has been so crazy that we didn’t think they should be outside. We hang suet for them to pick at and take them kitchen scraps, pumpkins we have stored, alfalfa and produce that the local grocery store gives us that is good, but can’t be sold because it is past it’s prime.

In the last haul from the grocery store, there were 3 boxes and one of them was almost all red grapes. They were good, just not the freshest. Since raisins are basically super past their prime grapes, I decided to make raisins out of them.

I soaked them in a sink full of vinegar water for about 15 minutes. Then I destemmed them and took out any that showed any signs of mold while loading them on to the dehydrator. I put them on a medium heat and waited. It took a couple of days before any of them were dry, but I tried a high heat the last time I did this and wound up with a whole lot of burnt grapes. Live and learn!

Even after 2 days many of them weren’t dry, so I picked through them and put those that weren’t ready on for another day. There were still a few that needed another half a day.

I got a little over a quart of raisins out of the deal 🙂 It was a lot of work and the electricity alone probably cost me more than what I could buy the same amount of raisins at the store. That’s the way it is with pretty much everything I process at home. But, the satisfaction of knowing that I can make my own raisins is well worth the cost!

Now if I could only grow my own grapes and have a solar food dryer …

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue