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A peeling potato talk

It’s that time of year again for a good ‘chit’ chat about spuds!

How do you like your potatoes? I particularly love mine mashed with a dollop of butter or roasted until crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside.

Yesterday I spent my lunch break down at my local market seed potato shopping, its only at this time of year you realise there is so many different wonderful varieties. The big brands are great but I do love to support small or local businesses when I can. You can get a lot more one-to-one advice and they really appreciate your business.

Last year, I shared how I had chosen Charlotte variety as they are a very popular choice and Sarpo Mira as one of the most blight resistant maincrop for my first ever attempt at growing my own. I wanted to give myself the best chance I could for success and they certainly did reward me.
Read my previous blog here for tips on how to ‘chit’ your spuds and give them the best start.

I decided to go for two different varieties this year; Annabelle and King Edward.

I’m sure I don’t need to explain why I chose ‘Annabelle’ variety. I wish I could say it was because they produce a great yield and are a delicious salad potato, but although those facts are true it was purely down to the name.
They are a first early variety producing small long oval tubers with a buttery yellow flesh and waxy texture. I will be growing them predominately in the ground but thanks to their compact tidy growth habit they are also a fantastic choice for containers and sacks.
Plant in March – April,  mound up the soil and they will be ready for harvesting between June – July.

Everybody has heard of King Edward variety, they are a firm favourite for roasting and regularly appeared on the potato tasting chart I had on the fridge as a child. Yes, I went through a phrase where I used to rate potatoes I had for dinner by their taste, texture and look. Odd I know! Maybe this is one of the reasons I caused such a giggle on my radio show last year when I said that they were the vegetable I was most looking forward to harvesting. It’s also the excitement and anticipation of knowing what’s hidng under the soil, just like a treasure hunt.

King Edward spuds have a creamy white flesh and light, floury texture. As a late main crop they can be planted from late March and will be ready for harvesting in September – November.

It may not be in the form of a paper chart on my fridge but I will keep you updated on their progress. What varieties have you chosen?

If you are still to choose your 2017 potatoes of choice then don’t worry because now is season for Potato Days and Seed Fairs across the country. Events costs from as little as 50p – to £2 to enter, some even FREE.
One of the most popular and in its 19th year is the Hampshire Potato Day which is taking place this weekend, 28th – 29th January in Whitchurch. Over 110 varieties available as individual tubers, all priced as low as 17p per tuber (7 for £1) or in competitively priced 2.5kg nets – the list of varieties they hope to have this year, with the prices per net, is here.
Don’t think its all just about potatoes either, there is children’s activities, seed sales, talks, homemade preserves, unusual edible plants and lots of tea and cake.

An extensive list of events can be found here. Would love to know if you attend any and your experiences.

It’s certainly not going to be ‘roasting’ this weekend so be sure to keep your ‘jacket’ on and have a great one.

Sorry, couldn’t help myself…I’m a chip off the old block……






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