Tag Archives: Potatoes

GWM – Burgeoning garden

Yesterday I had my first strawberries! They were delicious although they’d only had one 501 spraying. We worked hard on remaking the beds, dug the soil right out and added a lot more composted cow manure as well as rock dust. I also added quite a bit of the soil I made from the lawn edgings; that had all been done with 500 several times over the winter while it was standing in its tump. The work was all well worth it for that totally orgasmic taste of the first fruits yesterday, no sugar, no cream, just strawberry.

It’s looking like a good year for them anyway. All the little wild ones are doing a treat in the bed down the side of the lawn; they’re all over the path in the veg garden on the other side too! Massive weeding required … sigh! And the semi wild jobs that seeded themselves under the sleeper at the top of the polytunnel bed are fruiting well too. I don’t know what they are but they’re bigger than the wild ones but not the same as the cultivated ones (Albion) that I have in the beds-proper. I’ll have to get up and do some 501 spraying on them on the 16th, 17th and 18th – good fruit days in the southern planting time so just right.

I’ll have to do the gooseberries again too, they’re just about ready to harvest, I had a couple as I was passing the bush the other day. I’m just hoping they’ll last that long and I’m not sure they will so I’m going to get up tomorrow, Wed and Thu and do a 501 on them then. Yes, I know, it’s northern planting time but I’ll have two out of the three right … morning and fruit day … it’ll just be the planting time that’s out, and I feel very strongly that the gooseberries will be too far gone to pick if I leave them for another nine days. The mornings are gorgeous right now anyway, the birdsong begins from just before four o’clock, I’m awake enjoying it, so getting up to stir is an extra joy. There’s something about that stillness before dawn, the scent of the ground and the sweetness of the roses and the mock orange, a warm cup of tea between the fingers. Then the first trill, often the Robin, or else the blackbird or the thrush; then the stillness after while all the birds and creatures listen to the silence; then he trills again. By the third trill they all join in. It’s magnificent. Yes, I’ll be up to stir tomorrow.

I must go round the garden today to check who else needs a fruit spraying and mark them down for either tomorrow or next week. Or both … there was a big shout in my mind’s ear then, ‘Hey! Why not both?’ Well, if the garden says she needs it, I’m game, she knows better than me what she wants.

I’ve still got to mark out who needs what though. Some plants, like the tomatoes, haven’t quite set fruit yet so I shan’t do them. They’re not in the right state for it yet, you can feel it when you sense into the plants; to me they sort of wriggle and go ‘Noooo!’ at me. But the apples have set fruit and the damsons, and the hawthorn.

Elder flowers

The elder is just on the turn. I made elderflower cordial last week on the Flower days, 24-25-26 of May. It turned out very well indeed, I put down 10 bottles to store. There is more elder still coming in the garden, I might even make some more, everyone loves it and I’ve given a couple of bottles away already. There’ll be enough left to go to berries for the birds (and for me for the berry cordial), and the bees have been harvesting it like mad too.

Had a good Root conversation with a friend just recently; her Mum grows potatoes and one lot are going too much to leaf which means too much nitrogen amongst other things so the spuds are not putting their energy into making lots of new spuds but into looking gorgeous and green and blousy above the ground. She needs to turn that around. What I’ve done before is to use 501 on a Root day in the Afternoon. Yay, all upside-down to “what the books say” but think what you want to do. The energy is all going upwards and into the leaves; you want to draw it back down again into the roots. And it’s the plant-forming energy, the stuff that 501 works with, not the root-forming and soil-working energy that 500 works with.

I’ve done this before with other plants – getting foxgloves to flower a month late so they looked good at the RHS show in 2006 was the first big time we tried it. It worked a treat; we had a mass of foxgloves looking right at their best in early July, bang on time for the show. We did it again the following year with verbascums. The concept was that the plants would naturally put all their energy into their flowers for June, to line up with getting themselves pollinated by the bees and setting seed in good time for self-sowing in the autumn, lying up in the soil over the winter, then burgeoning forth in the spring with new plants. The 501 on root days in the afternoon asked them to put the energy back down into their roots, which also strengthened them for the hot baking weather we had in both the Julys. When it got near the time we wanted them to flower we gave them 501 on a flower day in both the southern and northern planting times. This sparked them into pushing the energy back upwards again and getting the flowers going. They did look a treat and got us a medal!

We’ll see how it works with my friend’s Mum’s spuds. I’ll be up there (Scotland) in August and look forward to eating some of them.

Elen Sentier

behind every gifted woman there’s usually a rather talented cat …

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The Power of Potatoes

Because of Diet books and so on, people have become so afraid to eat potatoes. This puzzled me…something that is grown from the earth being bad for us? And in truth, maybe if they are deep fried, or whatever else, they can be bad…but that could be said for anything, correct? Regardless, I set out to find the truth about potatoes…something that became the diet of many of our pioneer and rural ancestors because they are so hearty and filling. In fact, I bet that potatoes could have taken the place of meat when it wasn’t available.

Part of the Nightshade Family (Eggplants, Tomato, etc).

Medical Purposes: Back & abdomen pain, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, wounds, skin inflammations, boils, muscle and general pain.

The potato came to Europe by way of the Spanish sometime in the 1500’s. However, it really didn’t take off and find itself a common place on people’s plates until the 1800’s.

Did you know that potatoes contain something called Atropine or Astropine? It can be deadly stuff if you were to take large amounts. But in small doses (such as what you will eat in potatoes), it helps gastrointestinal pains and cramping. Potatoes can also be useful if applied externally, for muscle pains, skin problems, and even boils. I had a cousin that used to get boils all the time when he was little. In order to draw them to a head, my Grandmother would peel a thick piece of skin off a potato. She’d place it over the boil keeping it in place with some sort of homemade bandage before he went to bed and by the next morning, the soreness was drawn out of the boil, and it was ready to drain.

Have you ever went to a restaurant and were served mashed potatoes with the red skins? I made that once and one of my in-laws looked at me as if I was off my rocker (or too lazy to peel the tators). But to be honest, that’s one of the healthiest ways to eat a potato by whatever means—by cooking them in their skins.

Potatoes also have alkaline juices, which are famous for neutralizing stomach acids, curing stomach pains, heartburn, and peptic ulcers. You can use compresses of Warm Potatoes for joint and muscle pains, and improving circulation. By using raw, you can cure itching and skin inflammations.

Potatoes contain: Complex Carbohydrates, Fiber, Protein, Potassium, Niacin, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Vitamins A, B-complex, and C. It’s best to eat the skin of the potato when possible, or if you can’t peel as thinly as you can because the main bit of vitamins are underneath.

My Grandma would fry potatoes with their skin along with sliced onions and sometimes a Green Pepper. (Depending if the garden was in) When we were young, she’d add some cheese to it but used to insist we eat the fried potatoes because in her words, "they will keep you from getting sick!"

Recipes

*Drinking Potato water can cleanse the intestines and reduce acid. Prepare by washing and dicing up a large potato. Steep it overnight in 1 cup of water after adding a pinch of sea salt. Strain and drink in the mornings before eating anything else for a few weeks.

*Doing a two day fast, eating nothing but potatoes can rid the body of excess fluids, toxins, and waste. It can also purify the blood. The cure calls for eating one baked potato, skin and all, (with nothing on it) five times a day for the total of two days. This can also help with gout and arthritis because of the alkaline properties, which will in turn bind uric acids and remove them from the body.

*To relieve gallbladder problems and help the liver to remove waste and toxins, make a tea with potatoes. Peel one large potato, and boil with the skin in 1 cup of water for a total of 5 minutes. Strain and drink.

Resources:

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing

(Note: They have a great deal on this book with tons of free stuff if you order)

Wikipedia

Health Benefits of Potatoes

FREE PDF Potato Nutritional Handbook

Healthy Potato Recipes:

Healthy Potato Recipe Collection

The Goodness of Potatoes Unearthed