Wow, I love digging up potatoes. Especially when they look like this! I grew a selection of colourful tubers sent to me by Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes, as well as my all time favourite, Pink Fir Apple, at my allotment this year.
I grew these on top of grass à la no dig, as per my last post, initially covering them with about five inches of compost. However, I hardly earthed them up (mainly due to my lack of energy to haul bags of compost to the site) and just left them to do their own thing all summer. Buoyed by my Charlotte potato success, I thought I’d see how they were coming along after all the rain (and finally a bit of sun). Although the yields are not quite as large, due to my lack of earthing up , I’m still really chuffed with a decent crop of my beautiful multi coloured tubers (and my knobbly Pink Fir Apples). The larger purple potatoes on the left and in the top image are Arran Victory, named in 1918 in celebration of the ending of the first world war. They have a high dry matter and are good for everything except boiled potatoes. The dark pink are Red Duke of Yorks (1942) and the lighter pink are Red King Edwards (1916) -both good all rounders with their skin happily retaining their colour when cooked.
Last night I made lilac mashed potatoes out of the Salad Blue Earlies (cross-section above), which according to the Carroll’s website is a novelty potato dating back to the early 1900′s and not a salad potato at all! Very tasty, but slightly disconcerting alongside my pinkish salmon!
I’m never really convinced about the value of growing main crop potatoes when my growing space is somewhat limited, but these heritage potatoes make my heart sing, so I will definitely be continuing my ‘no dig’ experiments in a more ordered fashion with some of these good-looking lovelies next year.