Thursday, February 18, 2010

Potato Varieties

Here is a list of the Potato varieties I'm growing this year (you can get more information about them from the supplier to our village Potato Day, Pennards or from the European Cultivated Potato Database (click on quick search).

Bonnie Dundee 1E (Red Firm)
Premiere 1E (White Multi)
Swift 1E (White Firm)
Winston 1E (White Multi)
Vivaldi 2E (White Multi)
Charlotte 2E (White Firm)
Record EM (White Floury)
Markies LM (White Floury)
Sarpo Axona (Red Creamy)

Some, but not all, have blight (leaf and/or tuber) resistance or tolerance, you never know we may get another wet summer like last year. We have enjoyed good crops and good eating from some on the list prviously, such as Markies and Charlotte. We did well with Sarpo Mira last year and I'm quite keen to see how Sarpo Axona gets on.

Potato Chitting

I have just been doing the labels for a range of varieties of seed potatoes, here they are sitting in the light and out of frost danger, for a few weeks to send out short strong sprouts ready for the seed potatoes to be planted out in April.
The one in the foreground all on its own is Mrs Soggy's one for the Potato Growing Competition.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shrove Tuesday

It's a wet and soggy day here, just as well as i am about to head, not into the garden (where I really, really need to finish off the winter pruning of the apple trees, but into the kitchen to make pancakes for breakfast. Yummmm!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Potato prints on Potato Day

Whilst avid growers picked their favoured varieties of seed potatoes,
young people busied themselves on the hall stage giving us, hopefully,
a foretaste of summer to come.
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Potato Day, just before St. Valentine's Day

Chris from Pannard Plants, with,
in the foreground a heart-shaped seed potato -
how appropriate for a Potato Day
held the day before Valentine's Day!
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Potato Day

The village hall buzzing with life and activity as folk gather from far and wide to make selections from over 80 varieties of seed potato supplied by Pennard Plants (in addition to onions, shallots, seeds and plants from them and also quite a selection of plants from Picket Lane Nursery).
In the foreground are paints used in the young people's activities (though a few adults also had a go at potato printing).
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Friday, February 5, 2010

Topical advice

Now that February is here, the snowdrops are in flower and a friend told me he has seen crocus in flower, we can come out of hibernation.
I have updated the column on the right with information about what we can be getting on with now.
There's still wood to be cut though, I'm off to put a new chain on the saw.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cadbury and organics?

You may well be wondering why there is a picture of a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar on my blog, and rightly so, it didn't grow in my garden, though my family and friends may well be surprised one hasn't appeared here before - I have enjoyed more than a few CDMs over the years - but this is the last one, ever.

The last ever? I can hear a few jaws dropping with incredulity, but yes.

When Cadbury resisted the first offer from Kraft they were derisory about the quality of the larger company and the way it is managed. None of that has changed, but worse still is the fact that, to buy Cadbury, Kraft has had to borrow heavily. There seem to be echoes of the very kind of thinking which beset the financial services industry and from which the world economies seem likely to suffer for years to come. It was possible to identify with the founding ethos of Cadbury, no matter how distant, that has gone completely now and forever, so goodbye CDM.

By contrast, as we gardeners busy ourselves planning for spring in the northern hemisphere, especially those of us committed to organic, sustainable methods, our thinking could not be further removed from that of the people who have melded the new Kraftbury. We know that nature does not allow us to buy off today at the expense of tomorrow, the dust bowl history, the use of DDT, deforestation and countless other lessons reinforce the message that there is no long term option but to work in harmony with nature and build for tomorrow, not borrow against it. It is surely immoral to leave future generations a poisoned earth or a crippled economy, just so we can enjoy some short term benefit.

I'll look back in sadness at the demise of Cadbury and my enjoyment of CDMs, but forwards with pleasure at the prospect of nurturing crops, garnering them in and, above all, sharing and eating the tastiest and freshest of home produced foods.
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