Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekend Highlights: Digging Potatoes at Our CSA Farm

Over the weekend our CSA farm, Grinnell Heritage Farm, hosted a root digging afternoon and potluck. And for someone who has never dug up a potato—or really had a firm grasp on how they grow—it seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn a bit more about the food that I'm regularly eating. And if you think that potatoes are boring, you should know that the ones we get in our CSA are so delicious—they arrive in shades of purple, red, blue, yellow, and orange and each has a unique flavor. It makes fall that much more exciting.

There was a group of about 10 folks ready to help in the field. Andy, one of the framers, would drive the tractor, running a metal piece (I of course forgot what it's called) under the row of potatoes to turn the dirt over. We'd then squat or kneel and find as many potatoes as possible.

We filled crate after crate and I was amazed at how easy the process was—though I can say that my back is definitely not used to that kind of manual labor and I've been a bit sore ever since!

The potatoes will go into CSA shares, to farmers markets and maybe even to  New Pioneer in Iowa City. Along with that lovely butternut squash.

After we dug up two rows of potatoes, we gathered for a potluck in the packing shed as the sun set over the fields outside of the door. I have learned that if you ever have the chance to go to a potluck at a local farm, you definitely should—the food is pretty much guaranteed to be stellar. We had beets and sweet potatoes that were roasted in foil packets on the grill, beef hot dogs (from the farm too), assorted raw peppers and carrots, beef stew, homemade grape juice and komboucha, two kinds of apple pie, and one apple cake.

I made an apple pear pie, using apples from the farmers market and pears that we'd been gifted from a friend. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday evening (though next time I won't forget the whipped cream!).


  1. I love digging potatoes - that looks like quite the harvest! A most delicious-looking pie too..