Po-ta-Toes! Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew?” –
Samwise Gamgee

Time to harvest our Po-ta-Toes!

Here in So Cal, where we have a “to be desired” growing season,  I started the potatoes back in December.   Sometimes I have a few little “seed potatoes” leftover; but, each year, I get a couple of pounds of  organic potatoes from the local health food store and sprout them.

I like to plant the potatoes in 15 gallon tubs with an olla (clay pot irrigation).  Seems to be successful.

Digging up the tubs filled with potatoes

Cutting down the potato greens to get to the tubers

Olla and purple potatoes

Pulling out a clump of fingerling taters

Colorful spuds

Potato au gratin

You can tell by the photo line up, it  pretty much sums up what our weather’s been like.  Hot, for a couple of days, then cold.

This season, I grew purple, fingerlings, yukon gold and red ones  which all turned into a pretty decent harvest of nearly 100 lbs.

If you never had a homegrown potato before, you are missing a real treat.  We’ve been enjoying  potato salad with pickled squash and carrots from the pantry.

Back in the old days, seems folks would eat potatoes raw like apples.  Watching the Lark Rise to Candleford series, there’s a scene  with Mr Timmins munching on a raw potato.  Hmmm,  I thought, eating raw potatoes are bad for you; well, that’s what they tell you.

Not quite sure I’ll try raw potatoes anytime soon.  When we roasted potatoes, I’m often reminded of Wilder family in Farmer Boy.


  1. Mindy says:

    So pretty. Something about a freshly harvested potato.

  2. Judy says:

    Hoping my potatoes will do well this year! So far they’ve bloomed and the tops are just now beginning to start to die back a little.

    I think it’s awesome that you’ve been able to grow 100 lbs of potatoes in containers!


    • Anais says:

      @Judy: Good luck with your SPUDS! 🙂

  3. Melissa says:

    I don’t know if it is bad for you or not, but I have always enjoyed a nice slice of raw potato! The crunch is quite satisfying. 🙂

  4. Terry says:

    Here in rural southwest Virginia raw potatoes are kind of a treat! Beautiful ‘taters ya’ll!

    • Anais says:

      @Terry: Really, that’s neat!

  5. Sherilyn says:

    X-L-NT!! do you just use COMPOST to fertilize them?? I just cut out the eyes from healthy looking taters, bury them an they GROW ~ that way I get to EAT the tater 😀

  6. Lonna Jordan says:

    I am curious what you are going to plant in the tubs after your potatoes? I was digging up my potatoes this morning and can’t decide what to plant now. Live in southern TN.

    • Anais says:

      @Lonna Jordan: My brother got them from a local nusery

  7. Lorie says:

    100lbs in containers in awesome. I would love to try to grow out potatoes that way. How many seed potatoes do you put in each pot?

    • Anais says:

      @Lorie: Good question, I’ll have to ask Justin. 🙂

  8. Nebraska Dave says:

    Justin, potatoes are my main vegetable. I tried to grow some Yukon Gold’s last year with a harvest of not much more than I planted. This year they are up and growing much better. When I bought my seed potatoes this year I tried to get the smaller potatoes and just planted them whole instead of cutting up the potatoes into a couple eyes each. I think I had a lot of seed rot last year even though I cured them for three days. It was a very wet year in the spring. This year has been much better. All my plants look pretty good this year. I’m hoping to get enough to try storage. How do you store your potatoes?

    I’m about to harvest my first lettuce. I only have enough for one salad but hey, I did it. Your beds of lettuce always look so nice and uniform. How do you do that? Do you start your plants in cubes first then plant them in the beds? My radishes turned into all tops and no radish so I’m about to pull them out and try again.

    Thank you so much for sharing all your gardening experiences. Have a great growing season to desire.

    • Anais says:

      @Nebraska Dave: We start our lettuces in soil blocks and then transplant them into the raised beds. Sometime we do scatter sow. Storing the spuds. We have a potato bin drawer which works so longs as I have only a few hundred lbs. Grow any more I’ll have to get me a root cellar!

  9. Ginger says:

    Raw potatoes are yummy. When Mom made French fries, my brother and I always snitched pieces of potato. They are crunchy good.

    Your potatoes are lovely.

  10. Kendra says:

    I love eating raw potatoes when I’m cutting them up for a dish. I didn’t know the were bad to eat raw. I just know that everyone thinks I’m weird for doing it.

    • Anais says:

      @Kendra: Wow, neat to see how many folks eat raw taters!

  11. Dirks Farms of Nebraska says:

    Hey the potatoes look great. I can’t say I have ever heard that eating raw potatoes was bad for you. I’ve eaten them raw since I was young. In fact, I found out when I was pregnant and had really, really bad heartburn that a raw potatoe eaten once a day squelched the heartburn. The enzymes in raw potatoes are good for you and your stomach and digestive system. Once you cook the potatoe, all of the enzymes are killed, then you have starch. Either way you eat them, they are gooooood. Raw, mashed, french fried, sauted, au-gratin, baked, hashbrowned, and many many more ways, too many to mention.
    Here in Nebraska, we have grown potatoes for 5 or more years. We try to grow enough to get us through a year, but so far we have always fallen short. I hate eating store bought potatoes now. 🙂 Just can’t beat home grown. 🙂

    Happy Eating!! We won’t get to eat ours until Sept. or Oct., we just weeded them today, looking forward to the fall harvest. 🙂

  12. Scott Hill says:

    They look beautiful!!! I harvested a few red potatoes today myself and ate a couple of ping pong ball sized ones raw!!! No ill effects yet.

  13. Joy Giles says:

    We had such a small crop this year. Don’t know if it was lack of water or what. They never seemed to bloom. Any suggestions for getting a better return next year?

    • Anais says:

      @Joy Giles: I think our growing success has to do with the soil. We use lots of composted matter and soil from the animal compound that’s rich in manure.

  14. Rhonda says:

    I will be planting my seed potato here this weekend. Kifler and Dutch Cream. Cant grow enough of them.

  15. Simon says:

    I have to agree with many other comments here. As kids, we loved a slice of raw potato with a little salt. As far as I know raw potatoes haven’t killed me yet.

    The story about raw potatoes being bad for you may have started with someone who ate a raw green potato. That would make them sick.

  16. Rhonda says:

    Beautiful potatoes! I love those purple ones! I’m thinking about trying to grow some potatoes next year. With all the potatoes you have harvested, how are you able to keep them fresh for a long period of time? I would think in CA, there wouldn’t be too many places in your your home where it would stay cool enough. That’s the problem I’m thinking about here in KY. It can be downright sweltering (it’s in the 90s here now) so I don’t know where I’d store that amount of produce safely.

    • Anais says:

      @Rhonda: I luv the purple ones too! Yes, we have a few “cooling” cabinets in our kitchen that draw cool air up from the cellar. Yeah, your are might be a problem. Any one of our South/East readers have suggestions?

  17. All Natural Katie says:

    I’m attempting to grow potatoes this year. What size olla did you use and what plant spacing away from the olla did you use?

  18. tia says:

    I really enjoyed the series Lark Rise to Candleford. I remember that scene and wondering what it would taste like. Still havent done it though.

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