Our ¾ acre garden was plowed and tilled and over the past two weeks we planted 500lbs of potatoes and 20,000 onions.
To plant potatoes, you start with a potato and cut it in thirds or quarters. Then you keep them outside for a few days in order for the fresh cut side of the potato can dry out get a protective skin over it.
The next step is to till a trough about 2-3 inches deep, place the cut side of the potato down and then push the dirt over the potato. This was actually very quick work and it only took an hour and five of us to plant all 500lbs of potatoes.
A few days later we planted onions – not as easy. Onions are shipped in bundles, with each bundle containing 80 small onions. Till a trough about 1 ½ – 2 inches deep and place the onion in the trough and then cover up with dirt making sure the green stalks are standing up.
What made it not so easy was we planted a few days after the potatoes and the ground was very dry and you had to be on your hands and knees on rough, dry dirt. So we got scratched, bruised knees, overstretched hamstrings and sore backs. We had 10 people help plant and it took almost 3 hours to finish. As I was planting the onions I did think about the purpose of the garden, which is to feed the shelters and meal sites in the area and how important those onions would be to them come July.
We then got 3 days of rain, perfect timing for these plants to get their roots developed and established. The best news is as our bodies need time to recover, the planting is now on hold for a few weeks until the official “last frost” dates have passed our region.
Celebrate Earth Day this year by getting your garden soil ready for planting – there’s still plenty of time!
The Christoffersen’s maintain a ¾ acre gardening plot for their church. All the food grown and harvested is donated to local food pantries and meal sites to provide fresh produce needs. Although not professional, they have come across many successes and challenges of vegetable gardening.