Charting the progress on my allotment in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Friday, 27 September 2013
Comparing The Potatoes
The main potato variety I chose to grow this year was Arran Pilot. I grew them last year and was so pleased with them that I decided I'd grow them again this year. Seen in the bottom right of the photo, they haven't disappointed. They cost me £2.25 for half a stone from the allotment shop, which is a little over the 3kg nets which you can buy in garden centres. They've given a very good yield again keeping us and my mum and dad supplied with potatoes over the summer months. I like to try new varieties so I picked up a small bag of Roosters from the garden centre. This is a red skinned variety and very versatile. They're shown in the top left corner of the photo. They didn't do as well as the Arran Pilots, though Roosters are a main crop variety so probably not as happy growing in a container as a first or second early variety. Another new to me variety I grew this year was Anya. Unfortunately, they gave a very small yield, but the flavour more than made up for it. They're in the bottom left corner and as you can see, they're a bit of a knobbly potato. They're a cross between Pink Fir Apple and Desiree. They've got a waxy texture and a slightly nutty flavour, and even though the yield was poor, I enjoyed them so much that I'm considering giving them another go next year, though I haven't quite decided yet whether to grow these again or give Pink Fir Apple a go. The last potatoes I tried this year were Desiree, seen in the top right corner. This was the only variety I grew in the allotment as I've found it a waste of time because they come out so badly damaged by slugs. I was hoping that these Desiree may have some slug resistance but they too had been gorged on. The photo shows the amount I managed to harvest from two tubers after the damaged ones had been removed. My records show that last year, I harvested potatoes from the last container exactly a year ago today. This year, I've still got four containers left to empty out, though I did plant more up than last year. It's been nice to share my bounty with my mum and dad.
I've planted two containers up with some of the Arran Pilot potatoes I harvested, hoping that I can grow some potatoes for Christmas. I've tried this experiment a few times previously with mixed results, so I'm hoping that this year is a good one and I manage to have some home grown potatoes on my Christmas dinner plate. The foliage is just starting to show through the compost so it shouldn't be long until I earth them up.
I've had some really good harvests this year and I'm using some of them up by making a roast vegetable dish and freezing it. The mix consists of tomato, courgette, potato, pepper, shallot, onion and mushroom, obviously the mushroom isn't home grown but everything else is. I'm sprinkling with black pepper before roasting and then freezing in individual portions. The potatoes are boiled and crushed before adding to the mix, and this makes it a substantial dish in itself. I enjoy it with some crusty bread. It'll be a lovely treat to have all these home grown veg when winter arrives.
I'm a forty eight year old mum of two and I live on the outskirts of Leeds in West Yorkshire. I've been married to Mick for twenty six years and we have a son, Daniel, who's twenty two and a daughter, Eleanor, who's eighteen. I gave up work in 2010 and now have more time to indulge in my hobbies of knitting, crochet and gardening. I hope you enjoy reading and will follow along with my adventures.