The Earth Apple of My Eye

A cache of most unusual seed potatoes appeared in the greenhouse a few days ago, already sliced, scabbed and set to sow in the ground. Jon Darby of Sterling Farm in Hallam, PA is the generous farmer who let me in on the 4 tons of seed potatoes ordered by a gang of local organic farmers last winter.

I now have 70 lbs. of exotic seed potato varieties to sow in the next couple of days. On average, one pound of seed potatoes will plant 10 feet of garden row and yield 10 pounds of potato crop. This varies with varieties and growing conditions in your own garden, and yields can be much higher or lower.

Here are the potato varieties Blue Rock Farm is growing this season along with some back ground info if you are interested in the history of your taters!:

Bintje: Heirloom Dutch variety called “Bintje” (Pronounced “ben-jee”) was the work of a botanist schoolmaster Kornelis Friesland.  Master Friesland used potatoes as a hands-on teaching tool to illustrate the principles of plant genetics and cross breeding.  He named each resulting hybrid potato after each of his nine children.  When he produced the tenth hybrid potato in 1905, he found inspiration in his best pupil, Miss Bintje Jansma.  The flavor of a Bintje is exceptional and some potato aficionados describe it as having a unique light, nut-like flavor.

Canela: Canela means cinnamon in Spanish and I assume that is where the Canela Russet potato gets it’s name. The skin is the color of cinnamon bark after rain in the cloud forest. It reminds me of that Puerto Rican song Piel Canela by Bobby Capó.

Colorado Rose: A potato all the way from the Rocky lands. This potato has rose red-skin. It is wonderful in all red potato recipes. Try them roasted with some rosemary and sage(also available from Blue Rock Farm) or in a delectable potato salad.

Nicola: This potato hails from the land of Germany and is noted for it’s low glycemic level. It has a firm waxy texture is excellent for boiling and salads. This potato provides generous yields; all golden-skinned and golden-fleshed. Perhaps like a golden german frauline named Nicola?

Purple Viking: The viking is one hell of a potato. The snow white flesh is perfect for mashing, but is also excellent for any preparation. They have this astonishing purple skin with red-pink marbling. I always thought they looked like hand dyed Easter eggs.

Sangre: The earth apple of my eye. Sangre potatoes have bright red skin with a striking white interior. Sweet full flavor. Another Spanish named potato. Sangre means blood.

Yukon Gold: If you want to prospect you don’t have to trek around the Yukon Territory. Just come out to the Blue Rock Farm! We are going to have 100 pounds of gold nuggets by the end of summer. We’ll all be rich!

There it is folks! We will have quite the selection of Star Pupils, Cinnamon Buns, Rocky Mountain Roses, German Girls, Easter Eggs, Blood Droplets and Gold Nuggets growing in the ground at Blue Rock Farm this season!

Below the unloading of the potatoes is documented at Dietz Produce in York, PA.(Photo by Jon Darby of Sterling Farm)

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About cmbrady8

Caitlin Brady is excited for the opportunity to work as the farmer in residence at Heritage Creek Farm this coming season. Caitlin spent her childhood and teenage years on a diversified family farm in Northwestern Missouri. She has worked on a variety of farms, ranging from the bountiful fields of tobacco, grapes, corn and soy in Missouri, to the coffee cliffs of Guatemala, organic heirloom vegetables in Silver Spring, PA, and organic cranberry bogs of Cape Cod, MA. In 2010 she rode the train to Lancaster, PA and witnessed for the first time the rich agricultural heritage this county has to offer. It was love at first sight and in 2011 she settled in among the bountiful farm fields of Lancaster County where she started Blue Rock Farm, an organic vegetable farm and CSA. Blue Rock Farm is committed to being a good neighbor in our community and a careful steward of the land. We grow healthy, tasty vegetables without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Our gardens and greenhouse are Pennsylvania Certified Organic.

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