Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Garden Surprise

So the other day I made an interesting discovery while I was stirring up my compost bin.  Apparently I haven't mixed up my compost pile in awhile, because at the bottom, I found these full sized potatoes!:

They must have grown from the kitchen waste I had layered in the heap.  They were large and fresh.  I found even more than what is pictured, but had damaged them with my shovel before I realized what they were.  I wonder about the safety of eating the potatoes that have grown in a compost pile?  I can't imagine there would be any issue.  I only put organic kitchen scraps and leaves in the heap...and some left over seaweed as well.  Must have been a good mix for growing potatoes!

What has me really intrigued right now, is that the spot where my compost is located is not the sunniest location in the yard.  It probably gets 3-4 hrs of sun in summer-time.  Not to mention that my "earth machine" is completely black and the potatoes would have been completely covered and not exposed to sun this whole time. 

This discovery opens up a whole lot of potential for my potato growing next year!  I had been mulling over where to locate my potato plants next year.  Crop rotation is an important part of organic gardening, but in my small space this is not always easy to achieve.  Next year, I plan to do a test potato crop in the compost area, maybe using grow bags again (these can be hidden from view by the composter).   I love unexpected surprises!!!!

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