Waiting for Potatoes

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

A lot of exciting things have been happening in the gardens these days. With summer fully underway I have been harvesting all sorts of goodies. There are new discoveries everyday. Yet none have garnered quite the reaction as when I stuck my right arm into the soil, moved it around a bit and pulled out a bright blue potato!

Most edible plants provide a regular account of what’s to come. I can see the tomatoes and peppers mature and develop flowers that turn into teeny tiny fruit and eventually ripen into ready-to-devour goods. Potatoes on the other hand are a leap of faith. As a gardener I am forced to watch and wait impatiently as those tiny pieces stuck under soil in the spring turn into healthy plants and eventually produce flowers. But you really can’t know for certain that there is more then a bunch of thin roots underneath the soil until the time comes to dig them out.

Maybe I should have waited. Maybe I should have had the patience to hold onto my anticipation until the moment came to dig them all out. But the excitement isn’t lessened by having seen one. In fact now that I know they really are there I am actually even more excited and can’t wait for the real harvest.

I have never loved potatoes like the ones I grew myself. They’re the best.

What are you waiting for with anticipation?

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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39 thoughts on “Waiting for Potatoes

  1. I’m hoping that this is my year for tomatoes. It’s be my third attempt and so far things are looking very promising. I really, really want to try potatoes next year, and plant garlic in the fall.

  2. Tomatoes! I was late on veggies this year and so now I am waiting for everything that I planted at the last minute. My mouth waters at the thought of a fresh, homegrown tomato. Sigh. VERY cool potato by the way–love the color.

  3. Patiently waiting for the first tomato to ripen! I have a few on the vines and half been patiently waiting, but patience is running out!
    Basically waiting for anything but citrus, which I am harvesting weekly. 6lbs of oranges and 10.5lbs of grapefruit today :)

  4. For the first time ever, we’re trying corn this year. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we have a decent harvest.

    And of course, tomatoes! Can’t wait to bite into my very first Quebec 5!

  5. What lovely gem you’ve dug up! We planted carrot seeds on a whim, and I have the same curiosity of what’s beneath the surface. Patience, patience.

  6. The first time I harvested potatoes was so exciting. It was like digging for gold..and finding it!! I just dug my first ones of the season yesterday and fixed them with garlic (also from the garden) and butter. Yum!

  7. I’m waiting for my sunflowers to unfold. I have loved watching them creep taller from my kitchen window every day.
    Sadly, I am also waiting for the raspberries that are out of my 10 week old puppy’s reach to ripen. Who knew puppies could be so gentle and selective???

  8. I’m waiting on……….spring! It’s a cold and drizzly winter here in New Zealand and I shall have to content myself with looking at pictures of other people’s potatoes for a while ;-)

  9. Here in New Zealand I am picking rocket, chard, carrots, leeks and so on. Everyday, I look to see how many more of my garlic and onions have sprouted.
    Enjoying the rain and sometimes icy mornings, and looking through catalogues and planning my spring plantings! Love the blue potato!

  10. You may want to consider entering this potato photo competition for the United Nations. I didn’t realize just how many people the potato actually feeds in the world. I didn’t grow any potatoes, and have been thinking of ways to make potatoes look interesting and I’m going to keep going to farmers markets looking for different types of potatoes. Here is the link in case you’re interested – http://www.potato2008.org/en/photocontest/index.html

    Your purple potatoes are cute. Nothing is as good as a new potato! YUM!

  11. I my climate you can grow some varieties of herbs and vegetables. So I am waiting for bell pepper and mint seeds to pop their little heads up out of the soil. It’s kind of fun to be waiting for seeds to germinate during summer, when most of the rest of my garden will be past its prime in a month or so.

  12. I’m waiting for cukes and zukes! I had one starter of a zuke, but all the rain turned it into a pile of mush! I managed to sneak an orange tomato and a yellow tomato, but since then, they’re all green, so I watch every day for a hint of color!

  13. I planted heirloom beans for the first time this year. They are climbing fast, and they’ve bloomed, but no beans yet. I hope to plant potatoes next year!

  14. This is the first year that I’ve actually had a little vegetable plot, so I’m waiting for everything! I’ve had a handful of sugar snap peas so far, but that’s it. I’m probably most excited for the tomatoes because I love tomatoes and I know they are best straight out of the garden.

  15. Everything—the first zuc is just about ready for my saute pan and there are tons of tiny green tomatoes.

    It is so exciting to watch veggies come from a plant you grew from seed.

  16. I can’t wait for my eggplants! I planted them a little late and was very worried. But the plants have grown quite full and now the little purple flowers are just about to turn into little eggplants. I am so excited.

  17. I’ve been getting cherry tomatoes for a couple weeks, but my first Mortgage Lifter tomato is just starting to turn orange, so I’m waiting for that. Also, waiting on some melons to form on the vines….and hoping some winter squash finally forms, too.

  18. I’m waiting for eggplants! I have 12 lovely looking plants that are slowly flowering but so far to actual ‘eggy’ bits! Every time I go to the garden I hope that I’ll see little purple and white behinds peeking out from under the leaves. But so far … no dice.

  19. I’m also waiting for my ‘taters.

    I’ve gotten tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, and lemon cucumbers.

    But those potatoes are a puzzle…I don’t want to unearth them too soon. But I don’t want them to get to big!

    Ok and cantalope. I’ve never grown it before and it’s been a treat watching them develop. But I think my dad called “dibs” on the first ripe one.

  20. I HAD to dig some blue potatoes the other evening. I couldn’t stand it anymore. Most were about the size of the one in your photo, but they sure were good!
    Now, my eyes turn towards the tomatillo plants. I’m ready to make sauce~

  21. Four plants have offered a dozen little flowers with the promise of sweet red peppers to follow. Can’t wait to marry it with the orange grape tomatoes and the leafy genovese basil that the intense sun and abundant rain have provided my containers. Life is good.

  22. Growing an All Red Variety in the community garden this year Red Skin and Red Flesh. With all the rain most of the potato crop has already died just got 3 of the 12 plants left. Going to dig them up in Sept.

  23. Oh, so many things….

    But probably most of all… This is the 2nd year of trying to grow the chinese 5 color peppers. It got a late start because it wasn’t getting enough sun, but noticed a bud on my plant the other day.

    I would be so happy if I could get to see just 1 pepper go through all of it’s different color stages.

  24. Megan: Such a bummer. We’ve still got some time though. Mine produced as far as Oct one year. My current ‘Chinese Five Color’ is doing fabulously despite the rain. We’ve been lucky to have enough sun to accompany record rainfalls this summer. It’s just about into the forth color now.

  25. This is my first year having a garden, so I’m looking forward to it all–peas, tomatoes, beets, potatoes (even though those were planted ridiculously late–first week of June!). I’ve already started planning next year’s garden, though, so I’ve begun to fantasize about next year’s harvest!

  26. Everyhting for me has run late because here in Iowa we first had so much snow and cold weather, that was unusual, and then in June we had the floods and non stop rain!
    It has finally stopped raining every day but Monday morning we were hit hard with horrible storms that knocked out power to 109,000 Iowa/Illinois homes and biz. There are still 45,000 in the dark. Most have trees down on houses or in the road. I was lucky and only lost a few tomato branches:)
    The hurricane coming from Texas is sending high winds and rain Thur. so were not sure what to expect!!!
    Oh, and I love my potatoes! Aren’t they so yummy right out of the garden?? I too planted red and blue this year, but I am patient.. or rather I forget to check on them.

  27. Potatoes, too! I’m growing them for the first time and put them in a little late, but I can’t wait!! Actually, I’m anxiously waiting for all the new heirloom tomatoes I planted, too – I’ve discovered that the Japanese varieties have different leaves entirely, so I can’t wait to see the tomatoes!

  28. I love potatoes… especially surprise ones in my compost pile. I have a habit of buying bags of potatoes and not eating all of them, so out to my compost pile the old ones go. it’s a surprise to be turning it much later on and find armfuls of potatoes ready to be eaten.

  29. I’ve been eating my tomatoes for a while so I’m actually waiting on these freakish sunflowers that are taller than me to bloom, then I think they might colonize. I have one Heirloom Titan that just keeps going up- no flower in evidence yet, but the Chocolate Cherry and Cinnamon Sun have fist-sized buds, yikes. I’ve created a monster.

  30. I’m waiting for tomatoes and more green beans.
    Mostly as an experiment, I planted a 1/2 dozen Blue Lake beans in the gravel/dirt parking area at my apartment. So far, I’ve harvested maybe 3 pounds from those 6 plants.
    My neighbours are rubbing their hands together waiting on the Early Girls, since one vine supplied all 3 of us with all we wanted last year.


  31. We grew blue potatoes one year but somehow no one found them very appetizing. Now we grow mostly Yukon Gold (best keepers) and Kennebec (best yield with shallow eyes). I am most eager for the sweet corn. I picked my first bush beans today. No red tomatoes yet.

  32. Freshly dug up potatoes are the best! Next round I’m going to try the method in car tires.

    Right now we are waiting for the tomatoes to turn red.

  33. I’m waiting in anticipation for my peppers and tomatoes. I’ve been growing cherry tomatoes for a while now, I think that it’s my 4th year, but this is the first time I’ve tried peppers. I’ve got 2 plants, a yellow and an orange, and I can’t wait to try them!!!

  34. Broccoli! I started seeds in the spring and then when I transplanted them to the garden they all died. So I direct sowed a late crop in June and so far I have four very sturdy broccoli plants that are getting bigger everyday. No heads yet though.

  35. Tomatoes, just like everyone else! Ours got a crazy late start, but we’ve had tons of rain and sunshine, so they’re coming along. We got a few handfuls of sweet delicious peas, but the bunnies got most of the rest! Next year, more fencing.

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