During Katriel’s spring break from Purdue, she and Tim were so anxious to plant something – anything really – they decided that it was time to get seed potatoes in the ground. Personally, I thought they were a little crazy. It had snowed the day before. And, to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of gardening. I grew up on a farm and every spring we had to plant what seemed like a million acres of vegetables most of which I didn’t like to eat. It was hard, sweaty work that I didn’t want to do.
Let Tim Work!
These days, the work has actually gotten easier with tools like the Hoss Double Wheel Hoe. After tilling the soil with Johnny, Tim adjusted the plows on the Wheel Hoe such that the points touched each other making it was easy to dig the furrow for the potatoes. All he had to do was push the hoe down the length of the garden. All I had to do was sip sweet tea.
While I was off doing something I can’t remember (old age), Tim and Katriel went to Menard’s to buy the seed potatoes. They purchased Red Lasoda and Mega Chip varieties. I think they picked Mega Chip just because they liked the name. Who wouldn’t want Mega Chips! The cashier got a big kick out of being videoed for our YouTube channel. Tim and Katriel were probably her strangest customers all day.
Then came my part of the project (probably harder than Tim’s). I had to cut all those seed potatoes into sections containing at least 2 eyes. Then Katriel and I placed one section at a time into the newly plowed furrow while Tim stood back and bossed. We used our feet as measuring sticks. This process was quite the balance challenge. Katriel and I almost fell over several times. I am sure the neighbors found us amusing.
Tim finally decided he could do something besides talk– so he repositioned the plows on the Hoss Wheel Hoe to the outside edges so that the soil would be thrown back in over the seed potatoes. This only took a couple of minutes. He likes to make us think he’s working hard but we know the truth. I wish my family had had one of these wheel hoes when I was growing up. I might not have dreaded the annual gardening. Someone at Hoss knew this, and designed a Junior Wheel Hoe with shorter handles “to accommodate the woman or youth gardener” i.e. short people like me and Katriel! If only I had one of those way back when…
On The Road Again
Next came the fertilizer but as usual with our projects, we didn’t have enough. So off to Menard’s they went (again!!). It’s a good thing Menard’s is 5 minutes from our house. I stayed home to cook dinner which included one of their favorite potato dishes (recipe below). They stayed longer this trip, I think they evaluated every bag of fertilizer in the store.
Once home, Tim and Katriel lovingly spread fertilizer beside each carefully planted row of potatoes. Tim once again reconfigured the wheel hoe to cover over the fertilizer. I think they love that tool. I understand – I love my kitchen gadgets.
Overall, the project was easy and fun. Maybe I’m just older and able to enjoy it more. Now we are watching every day waiting to see the potatoes break through the ground. It’s a little like watching paint dry but one day, we’ll see green.
Oven Fried Potatoes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 degree is using convection)
Wash and peel potatoes (unless you like the skins). Cut potatoes into bite size pieces in a large bowl. While cutting the potatoes, place pieces into water to cover, this keeps the potatoes from turning brown during the process. Drain off the water and add olive oil and seasonings. Stir to coat all of the potato pieces. Spread out evenly onto a greased 9x13” baking pan. Cook approximately 20 minutes, remove from oven and stir to turn over potatoes. Return to the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. Serve Immediately.
(P.S. Tim’s says to bring the oven baked potatoes over after you make them!)