Saturday, November 13, 2010

Recycled Potatoes

Last summer, we had a sudden hot spell just as my baby onions were getting started. The delicate shoots were fried beyond any hope of recovery.

As I was pondering what to put in the now-vacant 2 foot by 4 foot space in the planter box, I came across a few potatoes lurking in the back of the bin that were more sprout than potato. Just the thing. I cut them into chunks, being careful not to disturb the sprouts, and laid them gently in the area vacated by the onions. Then I covered them with a heavy layer of compost and left them to their own devices.

I soon had an impressive display of green potato plants. My only clue to what was going on underneath was an occasional glimpse of a tiny potato poking above the surface. I just added more soil whenever the baby potatoes became visible, and otherwise ignored them.

A couple of days ago, I took advantage of a break in the rain to check out the garden. The potato plants looked to be mostly dead, and were turning to slime in the rain. Although the gardening books tell you you can just store potatoes in the ground, I figured that wasn't a good idea in our wet climate. So I dug them up and brought them indoors. I gathered about eight pounds of potatoes, ranging in size from little marbles to about four inches long. Not a huge crop maybe, but not a bad return on a handful of potatoes that were destined for the compost heap.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book News

The Door in the Sky is now properly posted on Amazon and available for purchase. Thanks to my two reviewers who have posted so far; there should be more soon. I was quite impressed with granddaughter Maggie's review. (Grandmas have bragging rights.) I don't see it on Barnes and Noble yet, although they do have The Mountains of the Moon.

Orchard House Press reports that they are making all their books available on Kindle, the first ones starting in December. They'll follow that with other formats, such as Nook. They're also working on bringing out hard cover books, and The Hall of Doors will be among the first of those, with a combined version of the first three books. So there will soon be lots of choices, but I don't have confirmed dates on anything.

I'll be signing books at the Friends of the Library holiday bazaar in Oakville November 20, and speaking to kids at the Tenino library January 5. Just a reminder: I'm available to speak at schools, scouts, libraries, writer's groups or whatever and will work cheap (FREE!!) as long as I can bring books to sell and don't have to travel too far. I've been thoroughly checked out by the Timberland library system and pronounced safe:)