Simpler Living

February 10, 2011

Nature Hacking / Growing Potatoes Vertically


This is something I want to try this year.  Apparently, you can grow up to 100 pounds of potatoes in just 4 square feet of land!  How?  By growing them vertically in a box.

Basically, you build a box with removable panels.  As the potato grows, you add panels, and then fill it in with dirt.  If you buy a late-season potato, it should produce potatoes all through the box as it grows.

Details are here (also here).  And someone had an extended blog entry about their own experiences here.

In short,

  1. You have to keep on top of getting the dirt on the plant, or it won't grow more potatoes
  2. Practical experience says most will only get 25-60 pounds of potatoes in a realistic garden, but that's much better than the 10 pounds you would probably get from a more traditional setup.
  3. Some recommended varieties of potatoes are Butte, Yellow Fin, and Bintje

February 05, 2011

Nature Hacking / Snow Ice Cream - Easy Recipe in Under 2 Minutes!

This is a new blog category - Nature Hacking.  Nature hacking is going to be a collection of techniques to leverage nature in interesting ways.  The first one is using snow to make ice cream.  This takes 2 minutes!


  • 1 gallon of snow
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder
  1. Put all ingredients into a large bowl
  2. Mix thoroughly
  3. Serve!
Seriously, that's it, and it tastes great!