There are plenty of projects out there using burlap right now, things made to look rustic and natural by using this humble fabric. The irony is many of the buntings and slip covers and votive candles use brand new burlap by the yard to achieve these eco-fabulous results. So I was really pleased when Mary from Hammerhead roasters was able to hook me up with some of their burlap sacks. I started a sewing project with franklin and planned some more Pinterest inspired crafty projects. However this way of growing potatoes is bringing me so much pleasure right now, it feels like enough.This is recycling at its most simple and elegant. It required no additional products or tools, filled a genuine need, and retained the character of the material's original purpose.
I have two of these set up now, one at the garden class for folks with disabilities and one on our front lawn. By layering more organic matter vertically it should be easier to harvest potatoes and allow us to grow more in a small space. Especially useful since we have clay soil at our house that is a bear to dig. As the plant grows we unroll more of the bag and stuff it with more straw and soil, keeping a few leaves exposed to catch the sun. I often see this basic idea of growing vertical potatoes created by stacking old tires. But the reality is, a stinky old tire is really heavy to lift onto a stack of tires. And although old tires are often free, they are rather difficult to bring home in a tiny car or on the back of a bicycle. But someone who uses a wheelchair or a two year old can easily work with the burlap sack. When it comes time to harvest our sack of potatoes, we just tip it over or cut a slit in the side to let the spuds tumble into our eager hands.
Thanks to Mary for the sacks. The Stomp Swill Dark roast alone inspires all kinds of creative projects. I am grateful for another great resource from my farmers market community. But if you don't live in Bellingham, they ship their deliciousness!(click here to check out their roasts.)