Thursday, October 20, 2011

Carol Deppe on Potatoes (Audio Interview)

Interview #1:

Listen to internet radio with Preparedness Radio on Blog Talk Radio

A real nice interview. Topics, in order:

the virtues of the potato; how to grow them on hard ground using a nutritious mulch; Irish families used to grow all the potatoes they needed on half an acre in beds; great details about potato rooting habits, hilling them up (the reason people don't usually plant deep is because it's cold down there); growing seed potatoes and rogueing for diseased plants; growing potato from seed, how and why to do it; the Great Irish Potato Famine; storing potatoes (57m) - in paper bags in attached garage, around 35-50 degrees in the winter, about 10 lbs. per bag with the tops rolled down, not sealed, kept dark, let's some air in but restricts it enough to keep the potatoes 9 months (still eating some in April), insulated rooms in unheated barns can work; ideally not below 40-50 degrees because cook funny, but ok if not sustained; trick for choosing seed potatoes (63m); more on taking care of potatoes, the importance of the dark, potatoes for poultry; don't wash them before storing; culling for storage; learn how to grow staples on a small scale, in a way that is scalable; seasons to plant and when to harvest (when the vines die down all by themselves + a couple weeks)

3 Things you want for harvesting potatoes:
- potatoes have to be big enough to eat
- for storage potatoes you want the plant to die back
- harvest them after you have cool weather so you can store them

A whole bunch of shows with Carol Deppe by this guy (Jim Phillips) here!

Another interview can be found on this page. An annoying show with lots of ads, but a couple items of interest:

Top 5 herbs: oregano, sage, winter savory, lovage, garlic. Lovage prefers part shade, celery-flavored, chop leaves and stem and can freeze; add to soups and stews

In a cool summer, an early season corn may be a full season corn, and a full season corn may never mature, or may rot.

Her ducks get a lot of their protein from free ranging; feeds them a little standard broiler chow in the summer; in the winter a lot of potatoes and winter squash, and they get a lot of slugs and earthworms in the NW in the winter.

In both interviews, Carol talks about the value of growing small numbers of staples to learn about them, so you could expand that operation quickly if you needed to.

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