Potatoes were the first vegetable I ever grew to sell.
It was many years ago that my siblings and I grew a patch of potatoes, doing all of the work ourselves (with some assistance from Dad). We planted, weeded, hilled, harvested & sold potatoes, and then divided up the profits – according to amount of work we each put in.
I remember working diligently during harvest, digging through the soft dirt with hands & feet to find the hidden potatoes, dragging the heavy bushels down the seemingly endless rows, for hours & hours.
My brother remembers me sitting and complaining rather than working.
My sister remembers my brother throwing potatoes at me to “encourage” more work, and her crying & pleading with me to get busy and for him to stop throwing potatoes.
I also remember receiving very little money for my efforts.
We next grew potatoes when I was a teenager, delivering them to the first Harveys fast food restaurant in St. Catharines.
We have not grown potatoes on our farm since.
Every year around this time people ask what new vegetables we will be growing this season.
And we certainly do love trying new things!
Through the years we have tested out all sorts of crops. Some have been a success and we continue to grow them – recent examples are edible flowers, sunflowers, mini broccoli, mini-bell peppers & various new greens & lettuces – while others are dropped after a season or two. We have a long list of crops that haven’t made the cut including artichokes, fava beans, cauliflower, kalettes, gourds, melons …
This year’s new picks are brussels sprouts and parsnips. We need some later crops for our new fall CSA so we will trial a few varieties of each and see how they turn out. To gain – and keep – a regular spot on the list, a vegetable has to both grow well and sell well for us. It needs to fit in to our farm work schedule and our farm acreage. And it has to make us some money! Brussels sprouts have failed before – will they be a success in 2022?
… or maybe we should grow potatoes!
Around the farm this week …