Thursday, July 22, 2010

The red morning sky says it´s going to be rainy today.

And so does the red sun.

It was a hot but rather nice day yesterday, as long as the sun stayed behind the clouds that is. As soon as it showed itself the nice breeze we´ve had dissapered and the heat struck at full power. The flies got nuts and I could feel tension was building up in the air. So I wasn´t the least surprised when thunder could be heard from a distance. By the time I went to bed the thunder had placed itself right above my little cottage. But it was a nice kind of thunder. The lightning mostly flew between the clouds and the rumble sort of friendly and low voiced.

This morning started out real warm and the sky became all red for a couple of minutes when the sun started to rise. I can feel tension is building up again and they have more or less promised thunder today too. Most flies seemes to have dissapered along our morning walk road (I walk the same road every day now since I pick up my newspaper on the way home). I think it has to do with the fact that they have cut down most of the grass on the fields now, to make silage from it. Now they have no place to hide and seek shelter in when weather gets bad. I have to say that I don´t feel sorry for them :-) :-) But with my luck they´ll probably just move to my garden instead :-) :-)

This butterfly has the same brown color on both sides of its wings. Not the most colorful one but it is rather pretty.

Potatoes, what can I tell You about potatoes? Lots actully but most of it is rather boring to be honest. The potatoe had troubles being popular here in Europe in the beginning. No one liked the taste and in the begining they tried to use it as an ingredient when baking bread. It didn´t even become popular when they discovered that one could distill it and make alcohol from it :-) :-) We had to have famine 1771-1772 to make people grow it here.

Geese moving back south.

I went down to the lake yesterday and this is the creek You normally can see on my photo´s but here closer to the lake.

You can´t see much of the lake now since it is very shallow and the vegetation is thick in it.

There are actually several species of potatos, especially grown in Peru. Some need short days to make potatoes others long days. Some can be storaged for months others not even a day until they start growing again. But what ever species one grows it is a nutricious part in a dinner. Sweet potatoe is not a potatoe at all! It is a relative to the Morning glory and can´t be grown here in the north due to the fact it needs lots more sun and heat than it can get here. Some however uses it in big pots and if the pot is placed in a calm, warm and sunny spot it happens that it flowers.

Yellow water lily.

Bjurums church and the old village school.

This old shed belonged to a yellow house that stood abandoned here for several years. The hous is torn down, but the shed still stands.

Well the rain has started to fall and all my animals are sleeping all around my home, so I think it´s time for another cup oif tea and perhaps some breakfast.
Have a great day now!

I removed the lawn on a spot beside my pond. This area is going to be covered with a ground carpet later on anyway. This is about one yard long and almost as wide. Just enough place for one potatoe or maybe two.

I had actually forgotten about my potatoes :-) but found them two days ago. As You can see the sprouts already has the beginning of roots and that is actually all You need. If I had done this earlier in the year and the sprouts had been longer I could have removed theese sprouts from the potatoe and placed them in small pots. They´ll start growing rather fast and can then be planted in the ground. This however takes longer time and they are a bit sencitive in the beginning.

But since I´m a bit late planting theese I´ll do it the old sibirian way. People that were moved to sibiria usually had very little food as it was, so they couldn´t just plant many potatoes in the ground. So they cut out about 1x1 cm (1 cm would be around a bit more that 1/3 of an inch) around the sprout and planted it. The rest of the potatoe then could be eaten. If You plant one small potatoe You´ll get a few but big potatoes when You harvest them. If You plant one big You get many small instead. 

Since I had several potatoes to choose from I cut out the best bits from them. But this is more or less around one potatoe. The  potatoe piece placed by itself is a bit bigger than the others. I want to see if that size difference makes any difference in how many potatoes I´ll get from it.

I´ve placed these potatoes a bit to close to be honest, but then again I don´t have to survive on what I harvest. As You can see the soil is very light in color when comparing it to the soil closer to the pond (the top of this photo). It contains almost only of sand, perfect for potatoes but difficult otherwise.

The ground was quite dry despite of all rain that has been falling, so I watered it quite a lot. After watering I used a rake to make the surface rough. A rough surface contains the moisture much, much better than a smooth one. Since I planted these  potatoes this late I´ll most probably won´t get fruits on them. You know the green "tomatoes" the potatoe plant produces. It can be fun to sow the seeds in them because You´ll never know what kind of potatoe You´ll get. They can be blue, red, clear yellow or even black :-) :-) and some of them keep their color after being cooked. All are edible but some will perhaps not taste that well. Just note this! If You sow potatoes some may be more sencitive to some unpleasant potatoe diseases You don´t want in Your garden. One more thing!! Never keep tomatoes and potatoes close together, not even bits of them!! They will only give each other different diseases and there will be no crop of either tomatoes or potatoes!!

Finished! Did You know that You don´t have to dig down the potatoes? We all know that potatoes kept in the sun will become green and poisouness but still You can grow them above ground. Just put the potatoes on the ground and cover them with black plastic. Only make a small hole where the green vegetation can come up. No sun or daylight is allowed to come under the plastic!!! When it is time to harvest, just remove the plastic and You´ll have nice clean potatoes :-) You can also cover the ground with a thick (around 40cm, that would be around 12 inches) layer of straw (put the potatoes on the ground first though). Walk around on the straw (but avoid the potatoes :-) :-)  ) so that it won´t allow any daylight benieth it and water a lot on it. The vegetation will still be able to grow through it. When it´s time to harvest just lift the straw and You´ll have nice clean potatoes. When You´re finished just dig down the straw in the ground, You´ll have perfect soil for other crops next year.


Susie på Stjärnarve said...

Jaså du, du ska odla potatis!?
Min gubbe är ett stort potatisfreak och kan äta potatis till ALLT. Så för några år sen skulle jag odla en speciell favoritsort till honom.
Han grävde upp ett land på yttertomten och vi gödslade och donade så det blev bra potastisjord. Blasten kom upp, jag kupade och vattnade och den växte otroligt bra.
Så en morgon såg det ut som nått djur legat och rullat sig i landet. En del blast låg ner. Trist! Dagen efter låg all blast ner - potatisen hade fått bladmögel!!
Det var bara att gräva upp allt och kasta för det hade gått in i potatisen också. Men....det värsta var att det hade spridit sig till min tomater som växte i ett par krukor på altanen 10 meter bort. Poitatis och tomater är ju släkt! Efter det bestämde jag att potatis får vi handla hos bönderna runt omkring. Dom ska ju leva på nått dom också!!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Tjänare Susie!
Ja det är ett elände med tomater nära potater, även om man skulle kunna tro att 10 meter vore nog. De är ju så nära släkt att de går att korsa. Hittills har man fått fram plantor med både giftiga potater och giftiga tomater :-) :-)

Hade stora problem med bladmögel här för några år sedan, så jag lade ned potatisodlingen. Oftast hann jag ju ta tag i det innan potatisen i jorden drabbades, men de sista gångerna sket det sig helt.

Jag gillar att ha ett kok med egna potater varje år, resten får odlarna hjälpa mig med :-) :-)

Ha det gott!

ana_didi said...

Hello Christer,
Beautiful photos as always.
For me it's amazing to know that potatoes can be blue and red. Is it right? Well .. you know that for me the potatoes grow in the supermarket.
And it's the first time they see a picture of geese making a "v", just saw this in cartoon on TV.
I really have fun coming to your blog :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi christer...isn't this late to plant potatoes? you must tell me hoe you hooked up your hose to water. i see you stuck the shovel in the ground but how exactly do you hold the hose in place? i can't tell you how many times i attempt to attach my hose to something so it can water plants but it always stays for a few seconds and then comes flying off. i grew lots of potatoes but forgot to plant them this year.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Didi!
Yes we have for instance two varieties that are blue called Blå Kongo and Blå Dalsland (Blå = Blue) And there are some that are read or pink inside too :-)

I see lots of birds flying in a V-shape here. The lake nearby is a restingplace for migrating birds.
Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Joyce!
I am bit late to be honest, but I think they will have enough time to make more potatoes for me. Normally I would plant this sort two days after Midsummer.

I have a hose coupling on my kitchen tap, I have an old kind of kitchen tap where one can screw on those couplings. Newer ones may not have that I´m afraid.

It was pure luck that it didn´t fall of from the shuffle :-) :-) The thingymajiggy that the water comes out from :-) :-) fitted exactly on that shuffel and I haven´t got that high waterpressure in my pipes. I share a deep drilled well with a neighbour, but unfortunally they weren´t able to put the pipes the shortest way, the landownr refused them to dig on his field :-) :-)

Have a great day now!

Oldfool said...

I love potatoes I could eat them everyday. I've never grown them however. Maybe next year. They tell me that in this climate you can plant them in late fall (under newspaper, straw or leaves and in the spring they' come up when they are good and ready.

Perovskia said...

Great pictures today. I love butterflies :)

I'm quite intrigued your potatoes have black roots. I had to look closer because I thought something was wrong with them and they had rot. I don't think I've ever seen that! Ours here are similar in colour to the potato.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Oldfool!
There´s nothing better than cold potatoes and gravy :-) :-)

I think You´ll get a much better result if You do like that, plant them in late fall than in spring like over here. If Your summer gets too hot potatoes usually get pests and diseases.

If You do so please tell me because I´m really curious :-)

Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Perovskia!
But those butterflies weren´t especially cooperative at all. As soon as I tried to take a photo they turned away :-) :-)

Potatoe sprouts and roots can have different colors too, but it has nothing to do with what color the potatoe will get. I guess it has to do with what species is mixed together once upon a time.

>Have a great day now!

oldblackcatboo said...

This post is so informative!
But alas, I think I'll just go to the supermarket.
I love the red sky photos! Amazing!
And the butterflies! - WOW!
take care! - Cindi

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Cindi!
I do enjoy growing my own potatoes :-) But they are really beautiful plants too when in bloom. White, blue and pink flowers depending on variety. So sometimes I just have them in my ordianry flowerbeds :-)

Have a great day now!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi christer...omg...i forgot those ingredients! thanks for pointing that out to me. i really should write these things down but i hardly ever do. i corrected it on the blog. joyce

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Joyce!
:-) :-) :-) I did think it was very unusual :-) I´ll get back and write down the right recipe then.

Anonymous said...

We should certainly be able to grow potatos here in Florida. We have constant sun year round and this summer is hotter than last. I think I'll try this, plant some this weekend.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Z&M!
If I were You I would try it the way Oldfool tells about. Then You´ll will avoid most of the pestd that can hit the plants during summer.

But You can plant them in big pots too if You want to. The pot/barrel should be atleast 2,5 gallons. Don´t fertilize to much though, then the potatoes will get watery.
Have a great day now!