My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ potato harvest


I can’t imagine not growing my own potatoes. There’s always a space somewhere in my garden. As usual, I spread newspaper on a patch of ground and then layered rotted hay. I layed each sprouted seed on a wilted comfrey leaf and covered them with a deep layer of hay. As the shoots grew, I piled more hay around the growing plants. Fertiliser was cow manure collected with the rotted hay from the paddocks.

We enjoy the varieties and flavours. The different textures lend themselves to different ways of cooking. As I mentioned in a previous post, we simply steam Urenika (Maori blue potato) as we do with the early variety ‘Swift’. I add sprigs of mint (and of course there has to be a knob of butter and black pepper over the cooked potatoes).  

I tried growing three varieties new to me this season.

‘Heather’ is described as a main crop with a purple skin, smooth skin and white flesh, great taste and good cooking qualities.

‘Moonlight’ is described as new in 2000, white skin and flesh, high yielding, excellent boiling quality. Excellent drought and wind tolerance.

‘Red Rascal’ is described as improved Desiree with a deep crimson skin and white flesh. Excellent baking and roasting.

Potato Harvest

Today I harvested the crop. All I had to do was pull the hay away – no digging and the potatoes are clean. I left them to dry in the polyhouse before sorting according to size and variety. I keep some aside for the next season’s seed crop. I was pleased to note no blight or disease and minimal physical damage that seems to have been caused by slugs.

I store potatoes in shallow polystyrene boxes (used by growers to transport grapes to supermarkets and then discarded) and keep them in a cool and dark place. 

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

3 thoughts on “My Garden ~ potato harvest

  1. Pingback: Jenny Litchfield's potato harvest « Desertification

  2. hi im wondering when do you harvest dirt potatoes and i dont know can you please help i want my mum to like my potatoes not hate them

  3. Hi Amanda
    I harvest potatoes at different times. For example, small early new potaotes before Xmas (early summer in New Zealand). I’m about to harvest Agria (this variety is lovely to cook for a creamy mashed texture) potatoes – it’s our late autumn. Other varieties I tend to grub with my hands at different times and get what’s needed for a meal. I like to grow small lots during the growing months of different varieties for different cooking methods, colour and for interest.

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