Come this fall I may have potatoes coming out my ears based on the amount I planted this spring. I do love potatoes. They're versatile, quick, delicious and healthy. So I decided since they're supposed to be the most productive plant for the garden space they take up it would be worthwhile to plant a lot of potatoes. Another great thing about potatoes is that they don't require any processing for storage (besides proper conditions).
According to The Worlds Healthiest Foods:
Potatoes are a very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals. Read this article for in depth info about the healthfulness of potatoes.
My sister and I decided to split a potato sampler from Seed Savers this year. We got 2.5 pounds of 8 different varieties of potatoes to try. This is what we received:
La Ratta: Long prized by French chefs as a top quality fingerling. We cannot recommend this variety highly enough, an absolute delight to cook with. Long uniform tubers, yellow flesh with firm, waxy texture and a nice nutty flavor, holds together very well. They’re especially good for potato salad or as a boiled potato. Commands a high price both in the restaurant and fresh market trade. 100-120 days.
French Fingerling: This is a wonderful variety! The rose-colored skin covers its creamy yellow flesh. Very versatile and good for any style of preparation. Peeling is not necessary or recommended. Rumored to have been smuggled to America in a horse’s feedbag in the 1800s. 90-110 days.
All Blue: Deep blue skin, blue flesh with a thin white line just under the skin. A good choice for baking and frying, nice for making colorful chips. When boiled the color turns to a light blue. High mineral content, good keeper. 90-110 days.
All Red: (a.k.a. Cranberry Red) Red skin with delicate pale pink flesh. Low starch content makes this variety a good boiling potato for salads or any dish that requires potatoes to retain their shape. Considered the best producing red-fleshed, red-skinned variety. Introduced to SSE members by Robert Lobitz in 1984. Consistently a good producer at Heritage Farm, regardless of the weather conditions. 90-110 days.
Carola: Our most popular variety. Heavy yields of medium-sized, rounded oval potatoes with straw-beige skin. Excellent when harvested as young new potatoes. Creamy yellow flesh, relatively low starch, great for soups, boiling or fried. Maintains new potato qualities for months in root cellar. 95 days.
Purple Viking: Quickly gaining the reputation of a great tasting, slightly sweet, general purpose potato. A choice variety for any preparation, snow-white flesh is excellent for mashing. Average tubers are 3 1/2 - 4" in diameter, but in a good year it can produce even larger tubers. Excellent storage qualities. 80-100 days.
Red Gold: Bred by Ag-Canada at the University of Guelph in 1970. Beautiful reddish orange skin with creamy, golden-yellow, semi- moist flesh. Excellent variety for baking, frying, mashing, steaming or roasting. Good disease resistance, best used fresh, not recommended for extended storage. 90-100 days.
Yukon Gold: A favorite among gardeners, consumers and chefs. Delicious flesh is drier than most other yellow varieties, perfect for baking and mashing. Yellow flesh appears to be buttered. Bred and selected by AgCanada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food in 1966. Excellent yields and a great keeper. 80-90 days.
We also planted some Yukon Gold and Kennebec potatoes. I'm hoping to have a pantry full of potatoes this fall. This year is a trial run of trying these varieties. I'll probably narrow it down to a few different kinds next year.
Do you grow potatoes in your garden? Do you have a favorite kind?
I can also be found at Chiot's Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Not Dabbling in Normal.