Ladies and Gentlemen, Plant your Potatoes

The full moon happens at around noon today here on the west coast of N. America and with it begins the two week period when the moon is said to be waning. The waning moon is the time to plant root crops [those plants that produce their edible parts below the ground.

i grow Ecudorian Finger Potatoes and have for many years. This will be my first time planting them up here at the new place i now rent. i'm really lucky that during the years before selling our little farm i passed out seed potatoes from my crops widely. A good friend, and sometime contributor to The Mud Report, Bill and his wife Shawn, grew them in their garden and saved some each year to replant. They returned the favor a month or two ago and now i'm ready to start my new bed. Ecudorian Finger Potatoes are an original-ancient variety of open pollinated potatoes which means they breed truely. All the commercial varities are hybreds which means their offspring are not replantable due to their unpredictable varibility. Seed companies make their money by being able to sell new seed each year, open pollinated heritage types of potatoes and other seed bypass the agri-business model and allow us to protect our food sources from the profit motive of corporations and the inevitable collapse of the corporate food model sooner or later.

i know planting by the moon sounds like a conspiracy between hippies and little green men, and maybe it is, but it works. When i started my first large garden on Park Ave. in Roberts Creek about 35 years ago i divided a large square area into 4 equal sections. Two sections had rows of early corn, pole beans and squash, one of the two areas was planted in accordance with the moon planting calander the other kitty-corner section was planted opposite to the moon planting dictates. The two remaing sections were planted in late crop corn, more pole beans and squash again with one section planted with the moon cycle the other in opposition to it. i setup a rotating sprinkler in the center of the four sections so everybody got watered on the same day. The results were astounding for all to see. In all cases, early and late corn-beans-squash, from sprouting to growth of all three types of plants to harvest and even to taste the results were undebateable. Throughout the 25 years we owned our little organic farm i tried on all occasaions to plant my crops in coordination with the moon planting calander. Today i'll plant out my potatoes, radishes and carrots. i'll cover the bed with some pea netting for a while to keep the deer and the family cat out. After the work is done i'll do a little dance and celebrate with a six pack the turning of the wheel.