A gallery of pictures of tubers and roots which were harvested in December when I had a blog-free month!
Here’s 24 of the 26 potato varieties I grew this year. Many are from the national potato preservation project administered by the Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN). 10 different varieties(mini-tubers) which have been cleaned for virus are offered every year. Some of the smaller ones are small as they were started from mini-tubers (used as seed potatoes next year).
The varieties are from left to right:
TOP ROW: Tysk Blå; Eggeplomme; Gjernes potet; Sverre; Rosenpotet; Lange’s potet; Ingeleivs; King Edward Troll
SECOND ROW: Ivar; Blå Kerrs Pink; Gamle Raude; Svart Valdres; Buddhisten fra Snåsa; Ringerikspotet; Svartpotet fra Vegårshei (syn. Blå Kongo); Abundance
BOTTOM ROW: Beate; Rocket; Shetland Black; Sharpe’s Express; Brage; Hroar’s Drege and Sarpo Tominia
I’m not head-banging to the potatoes….honest:
To my surprise, I noticed today that both yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia) and Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) have managed to flower outside in the garden before I bring them inside for the winter just before the first frost. I’m surprised as the autumn has been colder than normal…maybe this is rather a consequence of the record warmth in June.
I’ve been growing the blight resistent potato Sarpo Tominia every year since 2004 and it’s still going strong, showing no sign of lack of vigour, continuing in full growth right up to the first heavy frosts with fantastic yields. In the UK, this variety was deemed too similar to Sarpo Mira to be continued. However, my observations are that Tominia yields a bit better than Mira here, probably because it is a bit earlier. This makes little difference in the UK, but could be significant here in Norway where growth is stopped by early frosts.
Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) administer a national program offering 10 virus cleaned varieties from our national list of some 80 traditonal varieties each year. Members are not allowed to pass these varieties on to others, but can save their own seed potatoes. This is to reduce the spreading of virus and other diseases. We will reoffer most varieties of interest after some years. For the same reason we have also included other popular non-commercial varities in the program and Sarpo Mira has been included for some years now. Members are sent 3 mini-tubers of each variety and these are then used to produce seed potatoes for the following year.
We will now be including Sarpo Tominia in the programme and hope to be able to carry out comparative trials between these two varieties in a couple of years. Here is my harvest yesterday. These were grown in a very shady part of the garden with maximum 1 hour direct sunlight in summer and none when the tubers are forming!
Two years ago I accidentally dug up one of my Queen Anne’s Thistles (Cirsium canum) and I discovered the tubers were quite like the tuberous thistle (Cirsium tuberosum). I’ve now dug them all up, harvested the largest roots and replanted. This really is a great plant: a thornless thistle which yields good size tubers that is also attractive to look at, is popular with pollinators and provides winter food for some bird species (oil rich seeds).
* Edi-avi-ento-mental (edible, ornamental and useful for both avian (birds) and insect pollinators)…the most useful category of plant in my book!
It’s currently in full flower, so here’s a few pictures of my biggest expanding patch!
I was given a couple of plants the other day, surplus to the plant sale at the botanical gardens. Repotting the plants yesterday, I noticed that there were quite a number of sizeable tubers and I had a taste for the first time. I was surprised how sweet they tasted!!
This year’s Xmas dinner had the following tubers: Lathyrus tuberosus, Dioscorea polystachya (tuber and tubercules aka mukago), Madeira vine (anredera) , Dahlia, Carrot (2 varieties), Chorogi, Chinese duck potatoes ( Sagittaria trifolia subsp. leucopeta), Lilium martagon, Scorzonera, Yacon, Potato (Sarpo tominia and King Edward), Oca (Oxalis tuberosa – 4 varieties) and Taro (Colocasia esculenta). Together with nutroast, taro greens, perennial kale and leek this made for a delicious slow christmas dinner!
Norske ingredienser: Kortreist julemiddag 2018: Nøttestek, med knoller av jordflatbelg, kinesisk yam (knoll og bulbiller / mukago), Madeira-vine, georginer, kinesisk wapato, gulrot, potet, krøll-lilje, scorsonerrot, yacon, 4 sorter oca og taro….samt taro kål, flerårige kål fra hagen og purre!