Growing potatoes in a bag

Just because we don’t have our farm yet, doesn’t mean that we can’t grow a good amount of our own food.  Denise got a potato bag for Christmas and we are going to plant Yukon Gold potatoes in the bag.

The Environmental Working Group compiles a yearly list of fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residues, based on USDA and FDA testing data.  The current top 12 are:  
Sweet Bell Peppers
Nectarines (imported)

So, I figured that growing potatoes was a good place to start in reducing our pesticide exposure.  

Here is also an article about potatoes and McDonalds: Activists Stand Up Against McDonald’s Toxic Pesticide-Potatoes

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I only have 2 – 4X8 foot gardening beds.  So, if I were to grow any good amount of potatoes, it would take all my gardening space.  That is why I have been wanting to try growing potatoes in a bag.

Here is another image of what this could look like:

I got this Smart Pot for Christmas (yes, it was on my Wishlist)

I ordered some Yukon Gold potatoes from Johnny’s Seed and they finally came.  I was so exited to finally get my potato bag planted!  I placed it right between my two garden plots…


Starting a farm business update:

Well, I have finished reading the “Green” book aka Protecting Your Farm or Ranch: A Guide for Direct Farm Marketing in Idaho.  I got lots of great tips.  One thing I was happy to read is that you can have up to 300 chickens without having to get a license!

On Monday, I went out to Allan Family Farm.  Pat showed me around.  He also has chickens of ALL sizes…babies, youth, teens and adults…he incubates his own eggs to increase his flock.  He has a nice large area for the vegetables.  I told him that I would like to grow sunflowers.  1) I don’t want to “compete” with his business and 2) this will give me some good practice to see if I enjoy planting/growing sunflowers for market.  I will post more about the sunflowers next week.

So, after seeing the property and committing myself to growing something for the Farmer’s Market, I filled out my paperwork and went down to City Hall and signed up as a Walk On Vendor for the market.  The Farmer’s Market is run through the Arts Department.  Kathleen Burns is the Director.  When I came to pay my $15, she asked me a little about ReMARKable Farms.  I explained to her the situation…that I was just getting started…going to try some sunflowers but I have bigger plans for eggs, berries, pumpkins and trees once we locate property.  She then started to tell me about all the you-pick berry operations in the area (there are only a couple) and about Sexton Farms and that the owner might like some help.  So, I called up Dallas Sexton and he said to get back in touch with him in July when the blueberries are ripening.  So, looks like I may get some on-farm experience this summer at a berry farm!  Kathleen also mentioned that he supplied duck eggs and that there is a big demand for them.  I had never really considered raising ducks but maybe I will learn more about it when I visit Sexton Farms this summer.

Speaking of property…last Sunday, I ran a half marathon.  The only reason that I mentioned 
this is because I literally ran past a farm house for sale with a beautiful pasture located in front of the home.  It was set up so that you drive in from the side and you could sit on your front porch and look at over the pasture (kinda hard to explain…).  Anyhow, it was SO lovely and there was a small pond in the pasture.  

When I finished running, I went home and looked it up online.  It just seemed perfect!  Four bedrooms and 10 acres with a pond…exactly what I am hoping for in a property.  I even made an appointment and looked at the house.  It was an older home but the inside had been completely remodeled and was all like new.  It was way out of our price range and there were already 2 offers on the property but it was fun to dream…

In the Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago, I made pickled asparagus…DELICIOUS! 

This morning, I needed to hard boil some eggs.  However, all I had were fresh eggs (what a bummer)…if you didn’t know, it is easiest to peel shells off eggs that are “old” (at least a few weeks).  I had heard about a different technique that involves steaming the eggs when they are fresh and the shell will come right off.  So, I gave it a try.  Set up my steamer and put the eggs in for 20 minutes.  Then, put them on ice.  Perfect!!! The shell came right off.

I also made this…spoiler alert….Christmas gifts…sunshine in a jar (also, making some sunshine in a bottle and it will be ready in December)…can you guess what it is?