Tater Time

When I go to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show every February I load up on potatoes (and shallots, and onion sets…) from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds. (And, yes, some years a quick run to the local discount store for an additional suitcase is in order. I’m not too proud to admit it.) This year, due to the weather, my haul of 10 or so types of heirloom spuds sat in a box in my office. I just took them out to show (and share with) a friend  and are they ready for spring! (Aren’t we all?)

We love growing potatoes. Purple Viking – aka “the potato of Peter’s people” (my husband is Swedish) – is our favorite year after year. Although last year Peter Wilcox was in the running, too. Having “Peter” in the name certainly helped but this purple skinned, white fleshed beauty performed really well and got invited back this year.

Since I’m a purple lover, Peruvian Purple has also been a favorite (makes very interesting chips!) And we’re a fan of all sorts of cranberry colored, all red, other all blue types, fingerlings and the like. Essentially anything interesting and hard to find. We’ve probably tried them all over the years (and loved them all, too!) And, in my book, the uglier the better!

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This year I’m excited to grow the Ozette potato for the first time. This potato is “native” (not really – all potatoes come from the Andes originally) to my homeland the Pacific NW. And, yes, I’m now calling it “the potato of my people.” It has a very interesting history as potato varieties go.

Digging potatoes at the end of the season (or “feeling them up” for new potatoes earlier on) is one of the joys of summer. Kind of like a dirty treasure hunt. The the flowers are quite charming.IMG_0268

With this winter being so horrible (last year at this time the neighbor’s forsythia was already peeking over the fence), it will feel good to dig around this weekend – weather willing. I know the potatoes as ready as I am to get into the soil.

LaManda JoyTater Time

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