Saturday, November 6, 2021

Digging potatoes

Low maintenance: A new set of bootlaces makes me happy

Digging potatoes is a high calorie-burn job. It also uses muscles that don't have a chance to harden-up.
So I am pacing myself. An hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.

The potato in the bottom of the photo looks a little bit strange.

So far, Mega Chip is produced twice as many potatoes per foot-of-row as the Yukon Golds or the Kennebec. The Mega Chips are beautiful potatoes, shaped much like the classic Russet Burbank but with smooth, white skins.

I gave them the standard taste test: Microwave until soft, split in half and then sprinkle with non-iodized salt. They are a little bit bland tasting but still perfectly competent potatoes.

I am half done and have about three more hours (300 feet) of potatoes to dig.

Celtic Burpees

This exercise is called a Burpee.

It still strikes me as crazy that people pay money to exercise.

I think I need to invent a new exercise called the Celtic or Wild Goose Burpee.

The motions will very closely replicate sticking in a shovel into the ground, prying up on it, tossing about 30 pounds of dirt-and-spuds, then kneeling down and picking the exposed spuds to the side.

This is the exact exercise that made the "Wild Geese" of Ireland some of the most sought-after soldiers of their era. That, and the fact that they were available.

In fact, for a small fee, I will allow the most elite athletes the opportunity to perform AUTHENTIC Celtic Burpees on the ERJ spud farm.


  1. LOL, yeah, that ain't a tater as they say...

  2. Tom Sawyer you ain't. Nice try though.

  3. A digging fork does a much better, and easier, job of digging potatoes than a shovel. ---ken

  4. The four greatest pieces of exercise equipment ever... Shovel, pick axe, posthole digger and sledge hammer.

    1. I agree. Throw in a cross-cut saw while you are at it.

      Shouldn't there be a "g" at the end of your name?

  5. Millet painted one of my favorite paintings, that I have a picture of hanging in my den by my desk, of a couple of French peasants digging potatoes stopping to pray at Angelus. And so named. A beautiful painting. They are using a three tine digging fork. Most of us now use a 5 or 6 tine digging fork for that. I admire their faith and wish for my own and think we will need it soon.---ken

  6. Have you considered the Ruth Stout method?
    Or growing them in buckets?

    1. Not really.

      Even Ruth Stout said that her method did not scale well to extensive operations.

      Works great for a few cherry tomato plants or a few hills of potatoes.

      It also works when you have many neighbors who are raking leaves for you and putting them in bags mere steps from your garden. Or if you can get the crews trimming around power wires to drop of the chipped wood.

      In the long term, sheet mulching can tip the potassium/calcium balance and reduce calcium uptake. Calcium is a key player in binding cells via Ca-pectin bonds. Low calcium apples, for instance, don't store well due to cork-spot and water-core issues.

  7. Is the Mega Chip as it sounds a potato chip potato???I used to buy potato chip potatoes ( Unsure of which variant). A farm near us grew many acres of potatoes ( I believe for Lays). Potatoes that were too big for the chip machines were sold for almost nothing. I found them " acceptable" but uninspiring compared to kennebec . On a visual level I found you couldnt really fry chip potatoes long to get em brown..they wouldnt brown in a frying pan.Hash Browns were more like Hash sorta-tans.
    One of my biggest concerns with potato chip potatoes was they were much more picky about being cured ! You had to let those skins dry-cure for about a week. We never really had any issues with Kennebec and they cured in 2 days or less. Of course, like everything else, results may vary

    1. Ahhh! "Browning". That is a rabbit-hole.

      Most potato chip buyers prefer snowy-white chips but there are some regional variation in preference.

      Commercial french-fry producers routinely spray the raw product with "sugar water" to feed the Maillard reaction (protein + soluble sugar = caramel color).

      That brown color in fried products has been linked to acrylamide production. Acrylamide is classified as "a highly hazardous substance" in the US.

      Potato breeders have been making a concerted effort to reduce the acrylamide production in process potatoes. Current belief is that reducing the amino acid asparagine and the level of reducing sugars is highly favorable to reducing acrylamide levels.

      It also makes it very hard to "brown" hash-browns.

      Thanks for the info on curing the Mega Chip before storing. Yes, it is a chipping potato and the skin is almost non-existent when I pull them out of the ground.

  8. Hook the plow up to the mule and turn them right up !!!

  9. In my days of high school (1960's), the burpee was called a 6 count squat thrust. The regular squat thrust did not include the push up. It was a regular part of PE class.


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