Thursday, August 25, 2011

On My Mind....Potato Fruit

On my mind today was solving the mystery of the potato fruit.
Matt and I were checking for potato beetles at our plot at the community garden recently and came across these weird little fruits growing on a few of our plants.  They looked sort of like green tomatoes.  It was odd, something neither Matt nor I had ever seen before.  Obviously I had some plant sleuthing to do. 

Fortunately, the mystery really wasn't too hard to crack either I must say.  I found a little article from Horticulture and Home Pest News that quickly helped me figure out what was going on.  From what I've read there and a few other sites most potato blossoms dry up and fall off without forming these inedible fruits.  However, sometimes the blossoms don't just shrivel and instead set fruit.  According to the article Yukon Golds set fruit more readily than other varieties and that was exactly the variety of potato involved at the community garden.  Mystery solved.  Apparently we can just cut them off. 

I love my outdoor classroom!  I learn something new in the garden nearly every day.  Now to just wait until Matt gets home to tell him what I learned today!

The On My Mind concept come from  Rhonda on her Down to Earth blog.  Won't you join in on the fun?!

7 comments:

  1. Wow! Class is so much more interesting when one is truly wanting to learn! I am a garden loving person and am surprised at how I learn new things all the time...

    Thanks for sharing what is on your mind, as I have learned something new!
    Jennifer

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  2. That was news to me - I've never seen those either. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. By "inedible" do you mean not good for you to eat, or just not appetizing or too small? Wild strawberry and Bradford pears are described as "inedible," yet they are not poisonous or bad for a person to eat, just tiny and sometimes not very flavorful.

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  4. Gardens are the best place to learn, isn't it? Those DO look like cherry tomatoes! I once heard while growing up that scientist were trying to create a tomato/potato hybrid that produces tomatoes on top and potatoes below. I don't know if they succeeded, but sounds like a Monsanto project to me now that I reflect on it.

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  5. OK, after a curious google search I came across this: http://www.microgear.net/gwinford/tompot.htm
    They graft the tomato onto the potato to get both. Not as Frankenstein as genetic engineering. But I would be skeptical of production rates on both crops. Maybe I'll give it a try one year (grafting my own) just for fun.

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  6. My dad has an alloment for the first time this year and had exactly the same thing with his potatoes. He said he'd never had them do it before and he is a really experinced garden. Perhaps it some sort of conditions this year that's making it happen.
    x x x

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  7. I remember how confused I was when I saw my first "potato berries". We use potatoes so oddly that it's not something you expect.

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