Grow a Tub of Spuds
Like all homegrown vegetables, fresh-picked potatoes put supermarket-bought spuds to shame. If there's room for a half wine barrel on your patio or deck, you can grow these South American natives today enjoyed around the world. Don't make the mistake of using supermarket potatoes as seeds; they are usually treated to delay sprouting. Instead purchase seed potatoes, small potatoes or cubes with at least two "eyes." Mail-order sources include www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com and www.potatogarden.com. Put 6-9 inches of potting soil in the wine barrel in a sunny location, lay the seed potatoes on top, cover with 4 inches of potting soil then water. When sprouts appear, begin adding more soil, always leaving tips of the seedlings exposed, until the barrel is filled. When the bushy plants bloom, dig for "new" potatoes prized for their sweet taste. As the plants die down, mature potatoes are ready to harvest. In mild climates like ours, they can be left in the ground until needed.