Monday, August 3, 2009

Portland Potatoes?

Did you know that Potatoes are native to Portland? at least on the Alameda ridge. We have found hundreds, if not thousands of these puppies in our yard and man, they are not fun but we have learned a few tricks along the way. Best to first water the soil, wait a bit and then dig (also helpful to have a husband who is all about removing every possible potato he can get his hands on).

Our very own Native potato

Still confused? ....potatoes=rocks. Some guy came by when Steve was potato hunting one day and goes, "oh, I see you got some Portland Potatoes there" and Steve was briefly confused before realizing what he was talking about. Anyways, we have found that they are actually quite pretty when clean and have placecd numerous ads on Craigslist to let people know that free rock is available and it always goes within an hour or two. We plan to use some of the latest harvest for a small rock bed or two that my brother worked into the plan after digging on some potates himself.
In the last ice age, there were Missoula Ice Floods and with that, an ice dam in glacial Lake Missoula broke and sent rock tumbling through Portland and over the Alameda Ridge (where we live) and therefore, we have great draining soil but dirt that is a b****h to dig. Our rocks range from 1" to 2'. We have already placed a couple of the big ones in the yard.

Our last weekend (besides a little brew fest) composed of hunting for plants, hunting some more, hunting more and not having total but lots of success. I find it pretty amazing that the first week of August is already considered the end of the nursery season in the Pacific NW...yikes! Many of the nurseries (we went to at least 8 this weekend) has one or two of the kind of plants we needed but usually not enough so we nursery hopped (not as fun as bar hopping but the car A/C to get a break from the heat was a treat) and found that we will probably have to wait until spring to finish planting.


  1. Did you find a way to use these rocks? Kind of ironic that you had just purchased huge rocks prior to trying to get rid of small rocks. Personally, I love rocks like this for edging garden beds and walkways.

  2. We used several of the rocks for for various parts of our yardscape. Found several huge ones (over 1'x1') and we used those to help "decorate" the yard. The rest went on craigslist and were used for yard projects. One guy even picked up a load to fill in a sinkhole in an unimproved road he had