Last year we planted potatoes in our planter boxes on the deck. We were surprised by two things: that the plants had purple flowers and that each potato plant created many new potatoes. Yes, I know that's how it works but to see and more importantly feel a large clump of new potatoes where you know only one was planted is quite exciting. We harvested our crop last fall and on grandpa the master gardener's orders put them in the refrigerator.
Miraculously the bag of our very own home grown potatoes did not get eaten or thrown out over the winter months. Today is the day we started over and planted 18 potatoes in our garden!! Last year we had four plants. Does that mean we are going to have 80 potatoes this fall? Oh, better write that prediction down somewhere. Oh, and better yet, ask my first grader what she thinks. Maybe we will do a little Potato Math for fun.
The planting went well: dig, drop, push, pat, pat, pat. The rows are not straight, I'm sure some plants will be crowded and others spread out. Some potatoes are a couple of inches down and others almost a foot. But this is process not product gardening. We just need to get our hands dirty and I really want my kids to know that potatoes grow underground. They don't just appear at the store. They are part of a plant, with flowers and leaves, and hopefully lots of new potatoes under each one come fall.