I bought some organic Yukon Gold potatoes from the store to make sorrel soup today. As is usual, there were a couple of sprouting potatoes in the bag, so after I made my soup, I took those rejects out to the garden. I figured I’d plant them in the round fire ring where I had planted potatoes (both Yukon and Red) back in August and again in October. December and January frosts had killed those plants, so I figured there would be no crop. But when I dug down to plant these sprouting potatoes, look what I found! I was so surprised. I then went over to the Romaine and Cabbage bed, where I had noticed potatoes growing (volunteers) in October. The frost had killed them too, even under cover - or so I thought. There I found a bunch of fingerling potatoes! What a wonderful unexpected harvest! I didn’t need to buy potatoes for my sorrel soup but I didn’t know that. I will cut and roast them all tonight to have with our Boeuf Bourguignon.
This is the sorrel soup I made, one of my favorites. I’ve already written about it here, with a recipe, if you’re interested. I think it’s entirely worth growing sorrel just for this recipe.
A couple of interesting things to share:
One is my garlic crop.
I planted hardneck garlic for this year (you can read all about my weird garlic 2018 here), two different kinds. The one on the left is Spanish Roja. The one on the right is German Red. See how differently they grow? The Spanish one is tall and thin and light green, and the German one is short and sprawly and dark green. I can hardly wait until May to pull these guys up and see how they look underneath. I have sort of an idea, because I had extra seed garlic after planting, and since seed garlic is just a head of garlic like you buy at the store (except organic in my case and from a farm), I’ve been using the extra for cooking. The problem is I don’t know which is which. Both are extremely easy to peel which is fabulous, and apparently a feature of hardneck types. Both have reddish outer skins. Both taste great. But one has giant cloves and one has smaller cloves. Whichever one has giant cloves wins. That’s the one I will plant again.
The hardneck thing is going ot be hard for storage though, since I guess you can’t braid hardnecks. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Second interesting thing:
I’m taking Geology this term, and my professor showed us how to figure out what kind of rock is underneath our houses.
First, go to the USGS website.
Then, when you’re on the US, look at the right side and scroll down to ‘location’ and type in your address. You’ll need to have Adobe Flash on your computer to use this. Click the magnifying glass to zoom in or out.
The map will pinpoint your location at the bottom of a red diamond. You will see lots of codes, like at my house, it says the soil beneath us is ‘Qa.’ You’ll need a key to determine what the codes mean. Scroll down the left side of your screen and you’ll see a hand with the letter ‘i’ in a circle. Double click on that, then click on the area around your house. A little black box will appear with some choices. Choose ‘browse.’ A separate window will open up with a key to your little part of earth!
My property is made up of alluvial soil, that is, soil that was under water. This explains our hardpan clay.
If you look at my map, you’ll see lots of little broken black lines to the right (east) of our house all along the hills. Those are all faults. In California, hills pretty much mean faults. Can you see the orange section to the right of our house? That’s called Shell Ridge, and it’s called that because there are all kinds of fossils of seashells on those hills. It used to be an ocean. Then somehow the earth was lifted up (earthquake?) and it emerged from the water. However, if you look at the type of rock in that area, you’ll find it’s basalt - which comes from cooling lava. So at one point there was a volcanic eruption under that ocean. It also tells you the age of the rock - this particular rock comes from the Orinda Formation, which is from the Pliocene age. That’s somewhere between 2-5 million years ago!
I’m not sure if this is your kind of thing or not, but I find it fascinating.
I’d love to know how you’re all faring, winter-wise. I imagine some of you are in the deep freeze of the midwest about now. I’m sorry to tease you with shots of garlic and potatoes when you’re probably breaking ice in your livestock waterers every hour. Please let us know how things are going on the other side of the country!