Sometimes, when you make a seed or plant order you forget how small your garden is. This seems to have happened when I made my seed potato order. The box arrived last Friday and I couldn’t believe how many potatoes were inside. Thankfully I have space in my mom’s garden to plant a few of these and I’ll have a spot cleared out soon when I cut my overwintered cover crop. I will plant some of my potatoes now and save some of the long keepers to plant mid-June for a late fall harvest.
This order came from The Maine Potato Lady and I have a bag or organic Kennebec (my favorite potato) from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. I ordered from Maine Potato Lady because she had Katahdin, which I really wanted to try this year. When I looked though all the varieties available, I just had to try some new ones alongside some old favorites (like fingerling potatoes). Which kinds did I get? (descriptions from Maine Potato Lady Website)
Kennebec - my personal favorite long storage all purpose potato. These potatoes fry up like a dream, and since most of our potatoes are eaten fried for breakfast, this tops my list!
Katahdin – Still very popular here in the Northeast, this old standard has been around since 1932. Flat to round tubers with smooth buff skin and white flesh. High yielding and drought resistant; adaptable to many growing conditions. One of the best for any of your winter soups. Excellent storage. Numerous light purple flowers on large spreading plants.
German Butterball -This is my favorite potato, a round to oblong tuber with lightly netted golden skin that wraps around deep yellow flesh. Slightly mealy, this beauty is superb for everything – frying, baking, mashing, soups – you name it. Resistant to scab and viruses; some field resistance to late blight, but susceptible to rhizoctonia. Large upright vigorous plant with white blossoms.
Dark Red Norland -Customers sometimes ask, “What should I choose for early spuds that steam up well?” I always recommend Dark Red Norland; it’s easy to grow with consistent yields of beautiful round red tubers from large to small. Steam or boil some of these babies for those first early meals straight from the garden. Resistant to scab; fair storage. Purplish-blue flowers on a medium-sized plant.
Mountain Rose – With red skin and red flesh, this new release from Colorado joins Purple Majesty in being very high in antioxidants. Developed from All Red and a white-fleshed chipping variety, Mountain Rose shows good promise as a specialty variety for chefs and market gardeners. A moist but not waxy texture makes it suitable for most uses. Early to medium maturity and high yields. Resistant to second growth, hollow heart, shatter bruise, and some viruses. Slightly susceptible to fusarium dry rot. Semi-erect plants with reddish-purple flowers.
Purple Viking – Truly a beautiful potato, with deep purple skin dappled with pink splashes and stripes. Bright white and creamy-good, the flesh bakes or mashes perfectly. This variety produces what we call “lunkers”, large oversize potatoes, so plant close (8”-10”) to control size. Small-to-medium spreading plant has some resistance to leafhoppers.
La Ratta Fingerling – From France comes this special fingerling. In appearance Laratte is similar to Banana, though a fine net to the tan skin and a nutty flavor to the dark yellow flesh set it apart. Smooth and firm texture. The babies (1/2”-1”) truly melt in your mouth. Fine chefs love this gourmet morsel, and the demand is high. Matures about ten days later than Banana. Resistant to scab and viruses. White flowers top medium-sized plants.
Red Thumb – Dug as small “babies,” these bright red-skinned thumbs of delicacy have beautiful dark pink flesh. Pleasing flavor and firm flesh is perfect for roasting in olive oil and rosemary, then caramelizing. Serve with your favorite steak and salad. An interesting fingerling for the specialty market. Very productive small- to medium-sized plant.
I certainly can’t wait to try a few of these new varieties. We just finished off the last of our homegrown potatoes a week or so ago so it will quite a while till potatoes grace our plates unless I find some at Local Roots. Some year I want to experiment with early planting in a low tunnel and with luck, I’d be harvesting some new potatoes right about the time the ones from the pantry are gone.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy a potato?
I have curated a list of seed potato sources, if you’re interested head on over & check it out. Want to know more about growing your own potatoes? Head on over to the Your Day blog at Ethel to read my in depth article on growing your own potatoes.Filed under Edible | Comments (19)