Last week, I posted to tell you that it was very cold outside. I got a flurry of comments protesting that in fact, it was warm! You, readers, were right. It was warm. But now it’s cold.

pond snowRecognize the little fish pond? It’s all snowed over now. We got at least 8 inches of snow on Sunday, and maybe 3 more today. The fish are overwintering safely in their pond. We turned the waterfall off for the winter and put in an underwater bubbler instead. They also have two sunken pots that they can hide inside. When the temperatures start to go way, way low, we will put a heater in to keep the pond from getting covered with ice. If the pond gets covered, they will die. And breaking the ice with a hammer can kill them with shock vibrations.

We have stopped feeding the fish, since they can just eat the algae in their pond. (The big cleanup only worked momentarily, and the pond is back to its algae-filled state. Hopefully most of it will die over the winter.) But they won’t need to eat much of anything over the winter, since they hibernate at the bottom of the pond while it’s cold.

Now, a quick quiz! What are these?

potato1 potato2


a) Aliens

b) Expired kosher marshmallows

c) Potatoes

The answer is in the title! These are potatoes. They are a little bit mushy and have these strange things coming out of them. That’s because they are sort of old. But if your potatoes get like this, don’t throw them out! Potatoes have strange spots on them, called “eyes,” which are really growing points. That is where the things are coming from. The things coming out of them are actually roots, meaning that the potato is trying to grow again. You can plant these in the spring! (Apparently, store-bought potatoes are not the best kind to plant, but it’s worth a try.) When I planted a potato, I cut it into pieces with one eye each on them and put a few of them into a garden bed with a big pile of mulch and compost on top. When a plant came up, I piled more mulch on top to cover most of its leaves. You want to do this so the plant will put its energy into the potatoes, which are underground, not the leaves. (If multiple plants come up, trim the smallest, weakest ones, but otherwise just leave the one.) Keep doing this until the plant dies, then dig in your pile of mulch and underneath to see if your find any potatoes! I didn’t, but it was fun to try, and who knows? You might get a nice crop of potatoes next winter.

Plant your potatoes and I’ll post next week!