The potato produces more calories and protein than any other food crop in terms of space and amount of time. It also stores for up to 6 months under good conditions and can be grown in marginal soil anywhere from sea level up to 13,000 feet. The potato produces about 10,000 pounds of food per acre. A 100 foot row can yield 150-300 pounds of potatoes per year. The average American currently eats about 140 pounds of potatoes per year.
Here at Chiot’s Run I’ve been focusing on growing food that does not need to be processed for storing, so of course potatoes are at the top of that list. I’ve never grown a large amount of potatoes before, just harvesting 10-15 pounds from my tiny potato plot. This year however I planted tons of potatoes and was pleasantly surprised by my harvest. I ordered the heirloom potato sampler from Seed Savers to share with my sister. I planted about 15 pounds of 9 different types of seed potatoes and I ended up with a harvest of around 200 pounds of potatoes for the winter. I’m very pleased with our harvest, the best part is that potatoes need nothing but to be stored in a cardboard box in the basement, no canning, no freezing, no time/energy used for preservation. I was pleasantly surprised that the fingerling potatoes produced the highest yield. Here are a few photos of my Terrific Tubers. (Here’s a list of the varieties I grew this year)
Do you grow potatoes in your garden? How many do you grow?