I have only dug out about 21 feet of pathway. I don’t shovel so much as I carry snow to my flower beds so they will get temperature protection when it goes down to 9°F this week. They will also have the extra moisture. Moisture counts in the dry souhwest. I will move more snow this afternoon. We know that snow is water too.
The freeway is open, the paved road is open, and my gravel road and driveway are open. That leaves me… not shoveled out! This is the first time I have not been diligent about shoveling, but also the first time I have had to shovel 4 foot deep drifts, too. Not to mention retired with no deadlines! It is melting, so my drive and road are slushy snow over ice. I will be out by Thursday or Friday to run errands.
Today I am dreaming about shoveling crusher fines into place for my house underlayment. Shoveling that moves forward to where I want to be.
First, I need to shovel more dirt and move a few stones to even up the construction zone. It might not freeze completely since it is south facing. Otherwise not until March or April.
I don’t need a fortune teller to tell me that shovels are in my present and future.
My 4 sprouted gold potatoes are growing happily in their pots. This morning I added 3 inches of soil to bury the tops. I believe that this will carry them over for the winter. Yay! Fresh seed potatoes and now I will not have to buy gold seed potatoes every year. Every harvest from here forward will be free of market economy expense since I do not add supplemental water.
This year I will cage the potatoes and fill with compost, compounding production. Leaning toward building 2 more concrete raised beds and tossing them in the bottom as I fill with compost. They grow well in fresh compost. You can do the same with large trash bags, 5 gallon buckets, and so on. Put the seed potato in the bottom and keep filling. Or just mound compost over them on the ground. It is an easy way to produce a lot on little ground. The potatoes are easy to remove, I pull aside the compost by hand and collect potatoes of all sizes. You can collect baby potatoes early in the season and full size potatoes for later storage.
I plan to add purple fingerling potatoes this year for their added phytonutrients and different taste. I want about 100 pounds of potatoes for storage next year. About 2 pounds per week.
In Ireland before the potato famine, people ate 7-14 pounds of potatoes a day. As their personal garden plots got smaller, they relied more and more on high nutrient potatoes that are productive in a small space. Of Irish descent, I grew up on potatoes. I didn’t start eating rice until my 20s. Not wanting to reproduce the potato famine, I will stay well below the 14 pounds a day mark.
100 pounds is easier grown than it sounds and I won’t count on potatoes as my main food source because I have enough land to have a variety of foods. Still, potatoes have been a mountain staple in the New World for millenia.
Now that I am retired and not working 6-7 days a week, I plan a full garden to feed me for a year. Last summer I had vegetables all summer but did not plan for storage. This year I plan for processing and storage as well as fresh food. I will finish this 4th raised bed and build 2 more.