East Coast Potatoes are a main staple in every household since way, way back. They are so versatile; you can boil, bake, fry and mash them up with butter and milk. Yum! Yes they have carbs but “oh well” I say! Here on the East Coast we grow potatoes everywhere. Prince Edward Island is the most famous for potato growing and has been a big industry for the Islanders from the beginning of time. They sure grow a good spud in that red mud! East Coasters love potatoes! Do you? I know I sure do! Now; I am not a potato farmer and my method is not scientific but its all pretty basic anyway.
There is nothing better than digging up your own home grown potato. Its like finding golden nuggets in the rich loomey earth. Its real easy to do and I will share what I know with advice from my farmer friends. There are so many varieties to choose from and some are better for baking or mashing. You can grow chieftans, yukon golds and my favorite is the Irish Cobblers. Planting is done early in the spring when you can till up your soil and the weather is cold. Seeds are cut from the seed potatoes you buy or save year to year. Slice the peeling with an eye attached. If you are real lucky; the seeds will have multiple ones. Now my farmer friends tell me to let these dry for a few days. In rich, fertilized soil you plant the the eye pointing upward, about 1″ down and 1′ apart. Pat the ground firm and sit back and wait. Dont forget to water.
Once the plant takes hold; you have to hill up the earth around the base of the plant. This not only supports the plant but provides a good bed for the potaotes to grow in and keeps the potato under the soil. You dont want your potatoes showing above the soil or they will all turn green! Now let them grow! Water…water…water…! Once they flower; watch out for the dreaded potato bug. Hopefully you wont see them but if you do; you need to hand pick these little critters or they will strip your plant. Luckily I dont ever have any! But keep a mason jar of water in the graden and just put them in that. Once they are done flowering you can dig but they will be small. Once the plant is no longer green and starts to yellow; your potatoes should then be at their fullest. This usually takes me to the fall harvest. Dig up and enjoy!
Breakfast Baked PEI Potatoes
- 4 baked russet potatoes
- 4 fresh eggs
- shredded cheese
- pre-cooked bacon
Method: serves 8
- Preheat oven to 375
- Slice potato in half and hollow out a small bowl in the centre
- Place 1 T of butter in each
- crack 1 egg in each hollow
- Sprinkle with cheese, S&P and crumbled bacon
- Place on cookie sheet and bake 17-25 minutes until egg is set.
- Serve hot or cold