Living just a few miles outside of downtown Pittsburgh has a lot of perks and benefits. For example, when you want to find an obscure ingredient, in addition to the regular grocery stores there are several health food stores, an organic grocer, a co-op, Trader Joe's and of course the entire Strip District all within 10 to 15 minutes driving time. And that's with traffic. Want a cup of pricey coffee at 11 pm? Lots of coffee shops still open. Bars? Restaurants? Got 'em. Two large parks with lots of wooded space are within five minutes as well. But as I've mentioned before, one thing is missing from my neighborhood.
Yes, that's right. Sun. My town has so many trees that once every year or so they put volunteer groups together to....count them. I don't think there is a single house in all of the town that doesn't own at least one or two trees and it's more like a minimum of four. With just over 3000 people living here I am almost positively certain that the trees outnumber us in this less than one square mile town.
What that means is the beautiful greedy trees hog the majority of the sun and it is very hard to vegetable garden in this town. But every year I try to grow a little more in a different location or in a different creative method. You'll remember the peas and beans in hanging pots?
Lacking the picture of vibrant foliage because I completely forgot to take it, here is a picture from something else I tried to grow creatively just moments before harvest.
Can you guess what these fat sagging unattractive sacks contain?
That's right! Potatoes! I planted them in inexpensive reusable sacks from the grocery store and as they would grow I would add a little more soil to the sack to 'hill' them. It worked very, very well and we got quite a batch of potatoes. A good many are smaller than I like but I think it was due to too many plants per sack. They simply didn't have enough room to grow. Next year, each plant will get it's own sack and we'll see how that goes.
But for now...we have plenty of potatoes to use in a couple meals. The experiment, overall, was successful.