I didn’t know 2008 was the UN year of the Potato.
The International Year of the Potato has raised awareness of the potato’s fundamental importance as a staple food of humanity. But it also had a very practical aim: to promote development of sustainable potato-based systems that enhance the well-being of producers and consumers and help realize the potato’s full potential as a “food of the future”
Ah yes, a “food of the future”. I was thinking the same. But in a less global sense. I’d like to expand my own little potato patch this year.
2008 was my second year growing potatoes. I grew a few plants in 2007 and they were great. So in 2008, I planted a patch with two 15 foot rows. I planted a mix of fingerlings from a bag I bought at the supermarket, plus a couple supermarket russets. Again a great crop.
This year I’d like to double the size of the patch, purchase real seed potatoes from a good source, and grow a nice mix of different varieties. I’ve read that 20 lbs of seed potatoes plants 100 feet of row (1 lb plants 5-8 feet), so I figure I should get about 12 lbs of seed.
Fedco is a company my local CSA likes and they have a nice potato section. Here’s my list. Six varieties. 13.5 lbs total. (I can give a lb or two to my parents.)
Butte: medium russet skin, white flesh A favorite russet of ours for its tastiness and “just-right” mealiness. Heavy yields of attractive tubers are great baked, mashed or fried. Butte is higher in vitamin C and protein than any other variety. Medium-sized upright spreading plant has red-purple flowers with white tips. Resistant to common scab, hollow heart, and net necrosis. Also has field resistance to late blight. Released in 1977 from Idaho. Russets require wide (16–18″) spacing, good fertility and regular moisture. Organic 2.5# $7.00
French Fingerling: dark rose-red skin, yellow flesh This show-stopper with glistening smooth rose-red skin and rich yellow flesh slightly splashed with pink wows us every season. Creamy taste and firm texture make it a favorite. French Fingerling produces numerous large tubers and has become important for growers and home gardeners alike. Shows some resistance to potato leafhopper. Tall spreading plant. Organic 1.0# $5.75
Cobbler: buff skin, white flesh A real old-fashioned favorite from the late 1800s. Selected from a seed ball of Early Rose, ancestor of many early cultivars, by an Irish shoemaker. Round tubers have smooth buff skin and creamy white flesh. Medium-sized plant has white-tipped lilac flowers. Resistant to black leg and fusarium storage rot. Conventional 2.5# $4.50
Dark Red Norland: dark red skin, white flesh Norland has long been the standard early red, delicious for those first tubers of the year. Excellent for boiling and good for baking. Dark Red is a selection from Norland for its brighter skin color. Matures slightly later than its parent, with consistently higher yields. Medium-to-large plants with purple flowers. Fair storage. Also available as conventional seed. Conventional 2.5# $4.50
Green Mountain: buff skin, white flesh Many consider this 1885 heirloom to be the most flavorful of all. People ask for it by name year after year. O. H. Alexander of the Green Mountains of Vermont bred it from Dunsmore (a seedling of Burbank) and Excelsior. Dry texture for outstanding baking qualities. Good appearance and great flavor don’t fade in long storage. Resistant to fusarium storage rot, black leg and verticillium wilt. Susceptible to viral diseases. Also available as conventional seed. Organic 2.5# $7.00
Red Gold: red skin, yellow flesh Red Gold continues to impress us with its delicious flavor and beautiful appearance. Grow these for that first potato, quickly steamed then tossed with butter, dill and a touch of salt. High yield of 2″ tubers, easily as early as 65 days, make it a top choice for growers. Excels as a new potato for salads and baking. Does not store well. One of our best sellers. Introduced by AgCanada in 1987. Also available as conventional seed. Organic 2.5# $7.00