IMG_2813.JPG When I was asked to grow this crop in the mid Nineties I had no idea what is looked like or even how to proceed. Luckily I found a grower in Delhi, near Turlock, who was willing to take me on and show me the ropes. This semi tropical plant is a member of the vine family. Once it gets going it will cover these beds in a thick mat of foliage. The cuttings are produced by planting last years crop in beds and covering them with very sandy soil. Many shoots emerge and as they grow they develop a few roots on their stems. They are cut from the mother potato a few inches below the surface of the soil. We buy these for 11 cents each. We push the cutting into the raised ridge in the picture above. We start at dawn, 6am this time of the year. A photographer was here to follow this crop from planting to harvest and she was amazed how fast we planted. The sprinklers are turned on and left on for 24 hours. Once the crop is established we need to cut back on the water. In my first year I over watered the crop so much that I had a few seven pound potatoes. This amused my mentor in Delhi immensely. The goal is to have a nice even bunch of potatoes on each vine, this is easier said than done. The harvest is determined by a decision on how big you want the potatoes to get. They can be too big so once we get to the desired size we mow the vines. We start digging the crop in September and we usually run out at the end of the year. Beyond that we do not have enough warm storage space. Yes they need to be kept at 60F.