Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Friday 5 August 2011

July Potato harvest roundup

So, how has our harvest been in July? 
It has been very dry here - we have had  some rain, but not enough in quantity regularly to be helpful and it has been very hot, so a lot of crops have suffered or been delayed.

BUT our potato harvest is exceptional this year - last year was around half the weight and a fair few were badly slugged.

I suspect the hard winter killing pests, the good weather early on letting me get them in the ground early and, of course the magic of growing them in my own compost ( no soil, just compost...I have five, 2 m x 3 m raised beds filled with the stuff!)

We have lifted the potatoes now, apart from a few late planted "earlies" which are to give us new potatoes in the winter.
We got 100 Lb of Charlotte potatoes from the first of the raised beds, grown in my home made compost - from 18 seed potatoes weighing 3 lbs in total, so more than 5 lb per seed...pretty good going this year considering how dry it has been!

The Nicola bed had a similar yield from a similar number and weight of seed tubers so we are really pleased with this harvest. 
These keep well and we have a good mixture of sizes for baqking and other cooking purposes.
We also have a lot of Desire- good sized ones for baking- and some Maris Peer as well as some Rocket and Orla to finish up ( they are earlies so need eating first)
In total we have about 300 lb of spuds now in store for the winter and a lot of buckets of  "forked" or slightly damaged ones which we will eat up first over the next few weeks.
Am very pleased..even tho' in the scheme of things it doesn't save that much money and is a lot of hard work, I love our home grown spuds so much....even the best local organic ones just don't compare!

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