“Let the Sky Rain Potatoes”

July 22, 2013

“Let the sky rain potatoes.”
— William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor

Rows of purple potato blossoms

Rows of purple potato blossoms

I love road trips for their unexpected, accidental findings, such as this field of purple in the Skagit Valley.  Now, I’ve gone many times to the Skagit Valley to see daffodils and tulips in bloom, but those fields of color are April splendors, not mid-summer spectacles.  So what was this purple field that stopped me in my tracks?

Potatoes!  How fortunate to be passing by when the potato fields were in blossom.  This field was one of 2000 acres one farming operation put into Skagit Valley potatoes this year.

Deep mounds, home to a new crop of potatoes

Deep mounds, home to a new crop of potatoes

View from the end of the row

View from the end of the row

I'd never really looked at potato blossoms before.

I’d never really looked at potato blossoms before.

Skagit Valley potato field with red barn

Skagit Valley potato field with red barn

Skagit Valley potato field in blossom

Skagit Valley potato field in blossom

I leave you with one poet’s ode to the versatile potato:

A New Potato
by Ted Kooser

This is just one of the leathery eggs
the scuffed-up, dirty turtle of the moon
buried early in spring, her eyes like stars
fixed on the future, and, inside its red skin,
whiteness, like all of the moons to come,
and marvelous, buttered with light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Responses to ““Let the Sky Rain Potatoes””

  1. Adrienne Says:

    ty for introducing me to potato blossoms. Little new potatoes are in our farmers market, and I now know them a bit better.

  2. Chris Says:

    there is even a ornamental pototoe plant, vine really that grows like crazy here! I almost bought one this spring at a nursery! Love those photos of the purple rows you took!
    I grow my potatoes in a whiskey barrel so it looks really pretty when they flower!

  3. ebbtide Says:

    love potato blossoms! I occasionally see them planted in gardens in our neighborhood… and so funny you quoted Kooser – I just finished reading his Winter Morning Walks yesterday (highly recommend it)

    • Rosemary Says:

      I loved that book and the idea of sending postcards back and forth — each a little moment, shared. Of course, Jim Harrison is also a remarkable writer, resulting in an unusually rich correspondence.

  4. napperscompanion Says:

    Close up shots wonderful. Nice Kooser poem, too. Thanks and peace, John

  5. Judy Says:

    We had potato “rows” in our garden and I always thought what a pretty blossom they had. I have sweet potato vines in the gardens–such a gorgeous chartreuse green–so bright.

  6. camilla wells paynter Says:

    Both delicious and unexpectedly beautiful! Thanks for sharing these…the many blessings of nature!


  7. […] Let the Sky Rain Potatoes, July 22, 2013 […]

  8. shoreacres Says:

    Now, I know that these potato blossoms are in the same family (Solanaceae) as some of our native wildflowers. I just saw both silverleaf and Texas nightshades today–the banana like stamens are a clue. I see these flowers have those same stamens. I’ve never seen a potato blossom!


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