Newsletter No. 9

Potato blossoms

Potato blossoms

In this week’s box you’ll find the potato. Originally deemed toxic by the explorers who brought it from South America to Europe, the potato has become an important staple food all around the world. There are over 5,000 different varieties of potatoes.

This season we planted four different varieties earlier than normal because of the unseasonably warm weather. One of those varieties was the Galician or Gallego potato. Galicia is the most northwestern region of Spain. 

Galicia, Spain

Galicia, Spain

They claim to have the best potatoes and therefore tortilla española (Spanish omelette) in all of Spain. A few years ago I lived, taught English and farmed there. The flora, fauna and climate are very similar to Oregon and many of the crops we grow here do wonderfully over there. Our friend Dean’s grandmother still tends to the garden behind the house she grew up in where her family has passed down seed for generations. Three seasons ago Dean visited his grandmother and smuggled back potato and Padron pepper seed, which we are planting out and saving seed on every year. 

The Galician farm Elaine volunteered at.

The Galician farm Elaine volunteered at.

After planting the potato seed (some of the actual potatoes we harvested and saved through the winter) we hilled the potatoes, meaning piling soil on top of the potato bushes so the potatoes would never become exposed to the sun and they could produce more underground. We watched their potato flowers bloom and their foliage eventually die back signaling to us that they were ready to be harvested. Read more about the history of the potato here.

 

 

More fun facts on potatoes: 

  1. The Incas used slices of potato on broken bones to hasten healing. 
  2. Marie Antoinette was rumored to like potato flowers so much she put them in her hair and Louis put them in his buttonholes. It inspired the French to plant and eat the mysterious vegetable from the New World. 
  3. It was the first vegetable to be grown in space.

IN THIS WEEK'S BOUQUET:

  • craspedia
  • ageratum
  • amaranth
  • didiscus
  • mignonette
  • marigold
  • zinnia
  • celosia
  • cockscomb
  • snap dragons
  • strawflower
  • statice
  • scabiosa stellata
  • pincushion
  • flax
  • flowering ammis
  • yarrow

IN THIS WEEK'S BOX:

  • Silky Salad Mix with Edible Flowers
  • Eggplant
  • Collard Greens
  • Chard
  • Ancho Poblanos
  • New Onions
  • New Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Cauliflower