Monday, 31 May 2010

New potatoes

We harvested the first of our new potatoes today, and shall now be serving these culinary delights in the restaurant. The variety we use for our early crops is “Mona Lisa” and it really is a lovely eating potato. This first early crop was planted on the 20th of January but you don’t see signs of it sprouting above the ground till the end of February, then about 90 days later it’s ready for harvest.

Harvesting the gourmet "Mona Lisa" early potatoes today.
This year we planted three 15 m2 “beds” of early potatoes over a two week period from the 20th of January to the 6th of February. With the early planting there is a risk of the crop being affected by a late frost. However the later the crop is planted the more the chance of having problems with potato blight due to the warmer and humid weather conditions. Although Mona Lisa is an excellent eating variety it is rather sensitive to potato blight so this is why we plant a lot of this variety quite early, even though the yields can be a little bit low. Hopefully the harvest from the 3 beds planted with early potatoes should see us through till we start cropping our main potato crop in August.
This is the main crop; Sapro which will carry on growing and flowering till September.

Nothing goes to waste, here the haulms are being wheeled off to the compost heap.

For the main crop we use two of the Sapro varieties which are resistant to potato blight. These potatoes are high yielding, resist potato blight when all other varieties succumb to the disease and are quite a consistent potato which store well. We actually used the last of last year potatoes in the leek and potato soup tonight, and they are still very good.

Potatoes harvested today to be used over the next couple of weeks.

So with luck it should be another year where we harvest sufficient potatoes over the year to keep our restaurants fully supplied. Now just to enjoy these lovely newly harvested potatoes.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.