Letter Re: A Method For Growing Potatoes in Tire Stacks

No matter how deep our deep-freeze is or how well stocked our pantry, our food stockpiles are good for one thing: to keep us alive until gardening/bartering/hunter-gathering kicks in.

Living as we do on the high, arid plains of Wyoming, my wife and I have been working to establish a system of gardening that requires little water and can produce crops in the sandy, alkaline soil. After several years and a myriad of techniques, we stumbled onto a system that works. For lack of a better term, it’s the Goodyear Garden.

Here’s our tater recipe: Gather unto yourselves a few square yards of old carpet, a couple dozen [auto or truck] tire carcasses and a few bags of decent garden soil. Place a square of carpet on the ground and stack two tires on the carpet. Fill the tires with garden soil up to about halfway up the second tire. Plant your seed potatoes, water and wait. When the plants are about 8 inches high, toss on another tire and add soil to completely cover the stems. Repeat this process until you have a stack of five or six tires.

End result at harvest time: You’ll get about 25 pounds of spuds from each tire stack. Water usage is minimal. (We water the setups three times a week in the hot, dry, windy climate that is taking over the West.) – Hawgtax