So I stopped draggin my feet and got around to ordering my seed potatoes today. And thank goodness! My beloved Purple Vikings are sold out virtually everywhere! What has been taking so long is that I wanted to source as local as possible, but our local seed potatoe provider was already oversold. So I sent out a wide net rummaging through farmers market links to track down our favorite farmers in Wisconsin.

That actually worked pretty well and I ended up forming a nice partnership with Josh at Driftless Organics for 100#’s of Carolas and another 50# of Yukon Golds. Shipping costs? I pick them up at the Madison Farmers Market on 4/19. Nice.


To fill in the cracks I went back to Fedco’s Moose Tubers for 20#’s of Butte (highest vitamin C and protien -did you know ‘taters had vitamin C? Heirlooms do!) and another 20#’s of Green Mountain. Overall pretty happy with my orders: Carola is described as the “brandywine” of tubers, Yukon Gold has the Brand Name “pull”, Butte is a super storage and uber nutritious type, and Green Mountain has been around for 120 years and is described as the most flavorful of all. It is also an extra late maturing so I can spread my labors some.

While I was at it I threw in 400 onion sets (Stuttgarter and Red Baron) since I am running out of seed tray space (536 tranplants!), and our restaurant client (not to mention my planned root cellar!) is interested in some.

As I am pulling out of my sick stupor, I am also looking at applying for a Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant as well as a SARE research/producer grant to help fund this brain child of mine. This actually came about from a conversation I had with some ATTRA experts before I was sick. It seems that no one is pushing the envelope to the degree of sustainability that I am looking to in the Sub Acre Ag project, so instead of helping me answer my questions they encouraged me to get a grant to be able to tell others about it. As if I didn’t have enough hubris as it was! I figure I am writing 30,000 words on these projects already, might as well get a salary…

Jesus, I need to get healthy. And a clone.


7 Responses

  1. Wow! Busy busy! I’m thinking about potatoes too…like FOUR in a couple of containers!๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. We started growing potatoes last year with about 5#’s of purple viking. To be frank, I completely fell in love with them. With access to some beautiful growing area this year I am going more than a little overboard… If yields are maxed I could eck out a 1800+lb harvest.

    What can I say -harvesting potatoes is like playing a scratch off game using a pitchfork where no one loses! It is so incredibly fun to turn the soil over and see dozens of lunkers just sitting there… and the taste!

  3. I need to find some good early season spuds. The problem I’m having is that by my calc’s the window of time I will have for the spuds in the ground is somewhere around 65 days. Most places I have seen that sell seed potatoes don’t rate them by days to maturity. Any suggestions? A bonus would be their ability to keep well. A family of two adults+1 8yrold +1 11 mo old does not go through them very fast.

    congrats on the grant onestraw.

  4. Hey, if No-Impact Man can blog for a year and wind up with a book and a movie deal, you should be able to get a grant for this!๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Emily, thanks for the encouragement!

    Kory Caribe and Yukon Gold are the earliest ‘taters I know of. The great thing is that you harvest them as late as you can, and if they aren’t done they are still edible but will just be smaller. Caribe has better yields and stores better.

    Fedco groups all their spuds into 15 day “ranges” which helps in selection.


  6. I’m so glad to hear your going after some grants! What you’re doing sounds like it’d be a perfect fit for a lot of the grants I’ve come across. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but here’s a link to an article about grants that is up on Rodale’s site: http://www.rtmsd.org/744112089104239/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=56785
    There are links to a few grant databases on there; I noticed that ATTRA and SARE are listed, but maybe some of the other links will have some additional leads.

    And, your potato crop is going to be AWESOME!

  7. Thanks Meg! My potato crop scares the hell out of me. Perfect yields come in at 2000lbs! Even just brining the seed potatoes out will push the GVWR on my Insight if I have a passenger….

    Seriously though, this is very, very exciting. No other crop has more of my potential clients as excited as these heirloom spuds!

    Now we just need a thaw so I can start prepping the 150′ long windrow of 6′ tall 3 year old leaf mould that I will be growing it in. And yes that is in fact 200 yards of compost. It is totally covered in weeds, but the fertility is UNREAL. The farmer took all the leaves from a town of 20,000 people and stacked them up into massive piles years ago -and its mine… ALL MINE! Muhhahahaha!๐Ÿ˜‰

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