Tuesday, September 18, 2007

potato post


I dug my potatoes well over a few weeks ago, but tonight we had mashed potatoes with meat loaf for dinner and it occurred to me as I was peeling spuds...I had not posted about my potato harvest yet! So here it is.

This northern Minnesota climate and soil is nicely adapted for growing potatoes. We lived for a short time in a town in northwestern Minnesota, and one of the biggest industries there was commercial potato growing for customers like McDonald's. Here I grow potatoes in raised beds because of our extremely rubble-laden soil, courtesy of glacial drift. You'd burn out a garden tiller fast in this soil!

As the picture shows, I don't grow look alike Russets. I get my seed potatoes from Milk Ranch Potatoes in Colorado, who provide the best variety of tubers at the best prices. This year my goal was to try potatoes that were supposed to store well, and be disease and scab resistant.

Clockwise, sort of, from the top: Red Pontiac, which produced this one abnormally softball-sized tater. Dakota Rose, the really red looking one. That name sounds kind of like a prairie lady of the night! Continuing aroung the outer circle we have Banana fingerling potatoes, and Rose Finn Apple. I don't know if I'll grow fingerlings again; I like big potatoes that you can cut up and peel.

Completing the outer circle we have Carola, a yellow skinned yellow fleshed potato, and Purple Viking, which has striking purplish skin and snow white flesh. Inside the circle from left to right, is Desiree, pink skin yellow flesh, and German Butterball, an all yellow potato. I was trying to find a substitute this year for Yukon Gold, which, despite its market popularity, does not produce all that well. I think I like Carola, because it didn't get any scab and it seemed to produce more big tubers than German Butterball. Desiree made some nice shaped tubers, but I think I used most of the big ones to make mashed potatoes tonight. As far as taste and texture, I'm not that discerning. I can't really tell the difference, although I do know homegrown tastes better.

We probably have enough potatoes to last through January or so.

9 comments:

RuthieJ said...

Hi Deb,
Cool potatoes! I really like all the different colors. I have never grown potatoes because of limited space, but read on another blog about growing them in a garbage can, which I may try to do next summer.

arcolaura said...

We've had really good results with Red Pontiac here. The old standbys we'd been growing for so many years I didn't even know what kind they were anymore, just didn't thrive in Arcola. Pontiac sounded like it would like the heavy soil, and sure enough, we get very vigorous plants. This year I finally learned to cut up the potatoes for planting so they just have one or two eyes, and we got a great crop of good-sized potatoes instead of lots of little ones.

momadness said...

I do love potatoes. That's the one thing I'm seriously thinking of adding to my garden next year. My mom used to grow them but hasn't for years. She had good luck with them, tho; hope I will too.

barefoot gardener said...

I absolutely love 'tatoes! Yours are so pretty.

I have thought about planting them, but am curious...

Since I have limited space, would it be worth it for me to plant them? Potatoes are pretty cheap, even organic. If I'm not going to get a lot of spuds per plant, I would rather use my space for something else. About how many plants did you plant and how many pounds did you get?

Floridacracker said...

Those are pretty.
This is the time of year when we plant potatoes.

Lynne said...

Mmmm...taters with sour cream...

Deb said...

RuthieJ- I guess if you keep mulching them up, you get a lot more. I get lazy about mulching.

Arcolaura- Good information. I'll try cutting them up more next year.

Momadness- They certainly are pretty easy to grow.

Barefoot Gardener- I'll have to do the math. I ended up with about sixty pounds of potatoes, but I don't remember how many pounds I planted. I grew them all in four 4x4 raised beds, so space doesn't have to be an issue.

By the way, your CD is in the mail. :)

FC- You live in a totally different world! Planting potatoes in the fall? And those crazy passion flowers...but you'd be amazed at the colors of the maple leaves around here lately.

Lynne- Mmmm...fried taters...mashed taters...baked taters with sour cream...tater soup...boiled new taters...

barefoot gardener said...

Yay!

Lynne said...

I'm headed off to the grocery store to buy potatoes and leeks for my favorite soup. I'll start up the bread machine, toss a salad and supper will be ready tonight!

Thanks for the inspiration Deb!