Thursday, 5 July 2018

First Early potato "Foremost"

Last Autumn, when I took over the garden at Courtmoor Avenue and started digging I saved a few very small potato tubers that I found. The owners of the garden told me that they were "Foremost" ones, which they used to grow every year. I planted these tubers in my own garden in the Spring (I described it HERE).

Last week I lifted the first of the crop they produced.

That first batch was from the least promising of the three pots I had planted-up. They weren't brilliant, but considering their origin I don't think they were too bad. This week I harvested the second of the three pots, and they seemed a lot better.

The yield from this one pot (I think it must hold about 25 litres of compost) was 1046g, which I think was quite respectable, since they came from 3 very tiny seed-tubers. The batch included 10 nice big tubers, along with about the same number of smaller ones.

These potatoes are quite "blocky" - almost rectangular in shape - and have white skins and flesh. They have a pleasantly light texture when cooked. Some people say that "Foremost" are poorly-flavoured, but we didn't find them to be so. To be perfectly honest, I struggle to differentiate between potato varieties in terms of flavour!

I take pride in growing potatoes that have smooth, clean skins and I judge their quality at least partly by the presence or absence of the blemishes caused by the disease "Scab", to which "Foremost" is allegedly quite susceptible. These ones have a little Scab, but nothing too serious. [By the way, one way of reducing the likelihood of Scab is to include lots of organic matter in the growing-medium.]

My plan with these is to eat the small ones, but to keep the biggest ones and use them as my seed-tubers for next year, thereby "ensuring the succession" of this variety. Yes, I know I could just go and buy some new seed-tubers, but for me there is something special about being independent and keeping the local seed-saving tradition going. I know that the owners of the Courtmoor Avenue plot will be pleased with this too, and that is reason enough for me.

Next up will be these 2 pots each of "Charlotte" and "Nicola" (Second Earlies), which look ready for harvesting with their foliage flopped over and going brown.

P.S. since I drafted this post, I have lifted the last of my pots of "Foremost". The quality of the tubers was similar to those from the previous pot, but at 865g the yield was less good.

The final tally of "Foremost" then, from 9 tiny seed-tubers planted in 3 x 25L pots comes to about 2.7kgs.

1 comment:

  1. It’s difficult to decide when our potatoes will be ready as they have never really got growing this year.


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