We love potatoes, maybe that's why we grow and preserve so many different heritage
varieties - 40 at last count and that number is probably out of date....
The new modern potatoes just don't make the cut - sure they may produce more if you
grow them with chemical fertilizers, but they don't have the flavour or the general
resistance to adverse weather that the older varieties have. There is a reason the
heritage varieties have lasted so long in production - they work!
We do not offer every variety each year - this year we are offering 28 varieties.
Each potato is cleaned and examined before being put into cold storage for the winter.
They are inspected again in January for any signs of disease or insect damage.
The only damage that is acceptable to us is the damage caused by the larvae of the
flea beetle. It causes ‘race tracks’ as it eats the outer layer of skin when the
potato is growing - but it does not enter the potato or cause any farm except the
All potatoes are then inspected for a third time in the spring, prior to being packed
All potatoes are packed in an inner plastic bag with dry peat to absorb any condensation
and to cushion the eyes to prevent damage. They are then packed in an outer brown
bag to exclude light.
We have grouped the potatoes under three sub menus to make it easier for you - Fingerlings,
Early, Mid Season and Late Season.
Heritage Potatoes growing in the field, each row is 90 ft. Long.
The long tall rows growing on the left are a part of the Jerusalem Artichoke plantings,
Maintaining the Varieties
We are always asked how we maintain so many varieties of potatoes on the far.
Well it easy but time consuming.
Each potato, in the first year of growing has a photograph taken of the tuber (for
colour, shape, skin texture and eye colour), the growth habit of the plant (whether
it is upright, sprawling, shape and texture of the leaves) and the flowers on the
plant (each is nearly unique).
From that point on we have the varieties ‘fingerprint” and each time we grow that
variety, each plant is compared to its fingerprint during the growing season and
as soon as the tubers are harvested.
Any plant that does not conform, is culled.
A simple, time consuming and ruthless procedure that pays dividends making sure each
variety stays true.
Potato Growing Information
Common Names: Spuds, taters, patata (Spanish), patat ( Italian), pomme de terre
(French), aardappel (Dutch), ziemniaki (Polish), alu (Hindi, Nepali, Bengali),
kentang (Malay, Indonesian),
Botanical Name: Solanum tuberosum
Family: Solanaceae, the tomato family
Potatoes like a fertile, deeply dug, moist, acidic soil with a pH of less than 6.
They do not grow well in heavy clay or a limed soil, which promotes potato scab.
To avoid this, always rotate your potato patch each year. Many older varieties of
potatoes have lost favour commercially because of either deep eyes or an irregular
shape but may have many advantages to the home grower in hardiness, disease resistance
and prolific production.
Food: Potatoes are a staple, many heritage potatoes have a superb flavour whether
used as an 'old' potato and baked or used as a 'new' potato and steamed or mashed.
Recommended Planting Time:
Potatoes can be planted in early spring, shortly before the last expected frost.
Planting can continue into summer although the risk of pest and disease damage increases
as the weather becomes hotter, particularly in humid areas.
There are many different ways to plant. These include: containers, tyres, no-dig,
deep mulch and traditional hilling. All these methods have been proven successful
and potatoes are an easy crop to grow. The method you choose should suit your garden
area and style. For details on these techniques search the web or look in any vegetable
Plant the seed potatoes 13 cm deep and then cover with a mulch 25-30 cm deep. Cutting
into smaller pieces can increase the risk of rot in humid areas. If you do cut into
smaller pieces, leave plenty of flesh with each eye and allow the cuts to dry for
24 hours before planting. Cutting into too small a piece can dramatically reduce
Space the tubers 30-35 cm apart.
Potatoes are ready for harvesting when the majority of the tops have withered; this
can be from 12 to 20 weeks after planting, depending on the variety. Early potatoes
may be dug for table use at any time but for storage the potatoes should be fully
mature. After they are dug, dry as quickly as possible, and then store immediately
in a cool, dark, dry place. Exposure to light will turn the potatoes green; green
potatoes are poisonous and should not be eaten.
An historical plate of Potatoes dating from the 1890’s