Saturday, March 6, 2010

Purple Peruvian Potato

The Purple Peruvian heirloom variety, purple flesh fingerling potato is still well in season for the time being. I spent a bit of time with this potato yesterday as a side project...they do need some TLC at this point in the season as it is their habit to send up shoots and attempt to grow a new generation of potato fingerlings. But if you knock away these shoots, they will simply store and store, waiting to be chosen and brought home to a warm and friendly kitchen that seeks flavor, color and nutrition all at once.

Our "seed" for this potato was originally obtained from fellow grower David Little who grows about 20 varieties of potatoes in the Tomales area. As spring rolls around we continue to plant seed from this stock, keeping the local and heirloom origin alive and well and saving the cost of purchasing in expensive seed potatoes. While this practice can be risky for potato scab or other disease, so far it has worked well with this little purple variety.

I even sent some off with a young, inspired grower who happened upon me clearing off the tiny shoots yesterday in the farm stand. She has every intention to use them for a gardening experiment and I would recommend the same to any one of you. My personal greenhouse is scattered with pots full of potato tubers already planted and protected from frost and gophers for early production.

Good for eating, planting, or admiring. Even though potato crops were harvested way back in the previous fall (must get them out of the ground prior to rain and frost or the crops will rot or freeze), they are intended as storage crops thereby keeping them in season for quite some time. These ones may last another month or two....don't forget to enjoy them when browsing the farm stand selection.

1 comment:

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