Vegetables In Compost Bin - Edible??

Hi all,
The other day when I went to my compost bin to throw away some banana peels and egg shells, I noticed a bunch of green plants ( about 8 or 9 ), growing out of the top of my compost bin, so I dug one up to see what it was, and there were baby potatoes attached to the bottom of the plants!!
A few months ago, I threw a whole bag of potatoes which were starting to rot, away in the compost bin, and now I have potato plants growing in there.
So I guess my question is, if I keep letting them grow, will they be SAFE to eat!? If so, I don't know anything about potato plants. How do you know when the are ready to be picked? And how do you pick them? Do you just rip the whole plant out?
I asked a guy in the Garden Center at "Home Depot", if the I can eat the potatoes growing out of the compost bin, and his response to me was "I wouldn't eat ANYTHING growing from a compost bin".
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

As long as the potatoes aren't green, they are safe. You may want to replant them, and wait for the tops to die back and turn brown before digging them up.
Thanks for the gardening question. Think I'll go get a big Prunella drink now.
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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On 2010-05-23, MICHELLE H. wrote:

Hey back,

Lucky you!

Leave it to grow or eat the lil taters now.

Well whattaya expect from "Home Depot"? Help from people who don't know about gardening is what you find at the so called garden center department.
You can pick potatoes at any time, if you want to keep them for a long time then leave them in the ground until the tops dry. In warm winter areas, say zone 6, mine BTW, I cover with straw and leave them in the ground and pick as needed until there is a temp that is going to be around 20F. Then time to dig them up. Yeah some will survive and come back next year, then you can divide and plant, pick another area though. HTH
--
Bud

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I happen to agree with most of the other posters. As long as there is no refuse in your compost bin that was treated with strong chemical pesticide or herbicide, the potatoes should be fine to eat, either now (they have a distinctive, wonderful flavor at 1"- 1 1/2" size), or when they are more fully grown. But I don't blame the guy at Home Depot one bit. He had to cover his rear end. I know better, but in his position, I would have said the same thing.
Tony
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I was thinking of digging them out, and putting them in the ground in some nutrient rich soil, where I had another pile of leaves from last falls leaf raking, sitting on the ground composting.
The reason why I was thinking of doing this, is because #1, there are like 8 or 9 plants growing out of the top of my compost bin and they are taking up alot of space, and because #2 while 4 or 5 of the potato plants are small ( only a couple inches tall ), there are 3 or 4 potato plants that are like 2 feet tall!!!!!!
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On Mon, 24 May 2010 08:12:06 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

My compost piles are in full shade. I get volunteer potato plants that grow fast and large and almost as quickly return to compost.
Have fun!
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On 05/24/2010 07:12 AM, MICHELLE H. wrote:

If you have my luck, anything you transplant stunts the growth for a while, so you're better off leaving them alone. They've done good so far, no reason to move them.
Mysterious Traveler
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On Mon, 24 May 2010 08:12:06 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

I got squash plants growing in and on the sides my compost bins. They are broken up when the pile is stirred/restacked. The center of the compost is usually very hot, so the edges need to be mixed into the center from time to time. Pull the plants and bury them into the center of the pile. Compost piles are for composting, not the best spot to allow volunteer vegetables to grow.
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My compost bin is mostly just made up of leaves, some shredded paper, and table scraps, like spoiled salad, scrap/spoiled fruits and vegetables, tea bags, banana peels, and egg shells.
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