In Your Box:
- Bok Choi
- Mixed Mustard Bunches
- Red Beets
- Red Butter Lettuce
- Beet Greens
“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow”
By Julianna Trafton
Apprentices cutting potatoes
The apprentices are rounding out their second month at Soil Born with a bang of potatoes! I have never seen this number of potatoes in a single room until this now. Last week we were cutting potatoes, and this week we are planting them.
Potatoes are unique crops when it comes to propagating them. The seed that comes from a potato is viable, however, the genetic makeup of the seed is extremely diverse and variable causing production from the seed to be negligible and inefficient. Therefore, farmers propagate potatoes asexually from “seed pieces.” A “seed piece” is simply a potato that has eyes. The ideal seed piece is 2-4 ounces with 2 or more eyes.
Last week we spent our time cutting potatoes that were too large into ideal sizes for growth. We do not want to use a seed piece that is over 4 ounces because they have an excess of carbohydrates that can cause rot.
One way to speed up the potatoes growth is to “chit” the potato. “Chitting” the potato allows the potato to begin sprouting before putting it in the ground. A farmer would place their seed pieces in a flat or a tray, with the apical tip facing upward, and in indirect sunlight at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions will allow the apical bud to produce short, stout shoots. The potatoes that we are planting this week have started sprouting, and a few of them have 1 one inch sprouts. However, if we had chitted them, the potatoes would have dominantly had 2-4 inch sprouts. The best part about it is that the potatoes are mature 10-14 days earlier than potatoes that have not been chitted. This practice is more attainable on a garden scale rather than on a farm scale. A farm requires an abundance of potato seed pieces, and we simply do not have enough room to chit them all. But, for a home gardener, this is an ideal way to produce potatoes and I highly recommend you try it!
Everyone at Soil Born is looking forward to the potatoes coming into maturity. They are a highly loved crop here!
Featured Recipe: Spicy Roasted Bok Choy
Featured Veggie: Mustard Greens
Your mustard before it was harvested!
This week we are harvesting from our mustard plants for the first time this season! In your box you will see purple mustard greens with broad savory leaves.
Mustard greens are an excellent cource of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, and manganese. Mustard greens are also an anti-inflammatory. Mustard greens are high in vitamin K, which acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response. Mustard greens are not talked about a lot, but they have a lot of amazing health benefits and will hopefully start making it onto more dinner tables!
My favorite way to eat purple mustard is to mix it in with other salad greens. It adds an extra kick of spice with a slight peppery flavor. It also is delicious braised paired with poultry, grilled fish, legumes, or tofu.
Apprentices planting potatoes
Dates & Notes
Sat. April 30, 9am-3:30pm
This class is designed to help the aspiring beekeeper become more knowledgeable about the craft of beekeeping.
Price: $50 or $90 for Beekeeping I & II
To sign up/details:
April 30, 1:30-4:30pm
In this class, you will learn how to identify your target markets and make a realistic and successful crop plan that will meet the demands of those markets, so that your farm produces a well-timed consistent harvest all season long!
Instructor: Sarah Barnes
Succulents in a Wine Bottle
May 4, 5:30-8:30pm
The fun doesn't have to end when the wine is gone! Learn how to create and design your own sweet mini succulent garden in a bottle - a perfect gift for Mother's Day!
Instructor: Pamela Marentis, The Succulent Marketplace
There will be a $35 materials fee, payable to the instructor in class
Creating an Herbal Medicine Chest I
Saturday, May 7 9:30am-12:30pm
This hands-on class will provide an introduction to making simple herbal remedies at home, including teas, tinctures, salves, poultices, and more. Participants will practice medicine-making techniques and leave with remedies of their own.
Location: American River Ranch
Instructor: Daylin Wade
$25 per personThere will be a $10 materials fee, payable to the instructor in class.