German Butterball, French Fingerling, and Chieftain, thus far.
There's hundreds, if not thousands of choices, and we keep finding varieties that offer not only a nice visual appearance, but outstanding flavors, too.
Note that of the hybrids mentioned, not all of those that carry those names are equal in taste or appearance. Some seem to get 'wallowed out' in their characteristics over a several year period, leading me to believe that not only is 'purity' of strain important, but that every 'X' number of years, an actual pollen and flower fertilization-type breeding for actual seeds, brought back to original stock if possible, might help to re-establish the characteristics that originally were so appealing.
Haven't tried this yet, but, for example, we've yet to find German Butterballs that were of the same intensely full and rich, starchy flavor and consistency as what we had roughly five years ago; even from the same producers, or from our own seed spud stocks.
my favorite potatoes will be the ones I grow this season from Ruffles seed stock!
Thanks for getting together with mark and dropping of that bag of seed spuds yesterday morning. I haven't looked through it yet, was kinda busy yesterday after he got home, but I will today and then make sure it is put in a frost safe, cool place to keep until planting time.
You may note that while all of them have runners starting, and most are looking 'soft' due to the less-than-totally-cool area in the basement in which they're stored, the Shepody spuds have WAY long runners. Any that have limited eyes and existing runners on the eyes they -do- have need to be treated fairly tenderly, so as not to break what's there.
Sorry they weren't in better shape. As I told Mark (and you, via e-mail), I need to build a proper cellar into the hill-side behind my home, but I don't want to do it half-way, instead holding out 'til the equipment and materials are on-line to do it correctly; an in-the-hill, sub-grade/surface, sod-roofed, post and beam structure with R-40 to R-60 insulation on any surfaces that are anywhere within 5'-6' of the grade surface, and controlled venting for parts of the year that would benefit from such s feature.
With a 10'x12' interior area in such a beast, I'll have sufficient room for our beets, carrots, spuds, rutabeggas, etc., to last much more firmly through the entire winter, and into laet spring/early summer, without starting to sprout, go soft, etc. I'll also have room in there for numerous shelves for the canned proceeds from our otherwise short-term storage veggies; canned green beans, peas, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and more.
Anyway, it occurred to me that the labelled bags the seed spuds are in, while made of paper, may not breath sufficiently, and we're still a couple months away from planting spuds (especially where you are). If when you put them in a cool (ideally 35-40 degree f., dark, dry location), if you could remove the single staple per bag that holds the seven bags closed, and slightly open the tops of each bag, so they can breath. I'm worried that they have another two months of wait-time to go, and am trying to help maximize their chances for viability.
The French Fingerlings are sourced from two different places, and are marked as such. as I told Mark, they are very tasty spuds (from both sources) and each spud will have a medium to deep red skin, with off-white flesh, but with a unique red tye-dye-like design in the flesh in each spud. They fry well, are quite decorative sliced, go well in salads, soups, etc., but are capable of getting notably larger than many other fingerling varieties, to include the Swedish Peanut variety, which I also snet a smattering of.
There should be at least two German Butterball varieties, as well. Also an excellent spud, but as I wrote earlier, they might benefit from actually taking a crop (or at least -some- of the plants in a given crop) to actual seed, and using that process to reinvigorate/reproduce the original characteristics that they seem to 'slide' away from every three to five years when using the previous years's spuds to plant year after year.
Glad you're happy with them. I hope thay all do well for you.
Lujon, I went on a scavenger hunt of sorts for a friend (I don't drink many clear alcohols with the exception of some past experiences with white lightning or a fine gold tequila). My friend had wanted me to pick up some -good- 'wattka' in town to send out to him in the bush, and so I went on a trip to town for purposes of viewing the products from a purely objective perspective.
To my surprise, there were only two varieties of vodka I found in the stores that were actually potato-based, as in days of old. One of them is apparently (and surprisingly) made in Anchorage, or near Anchorage. I haven't tried it yet (and likely won't), nor has my firend, as I sent him another potato-based product, if I recall correctly, but i hear it's pretty decent.
Ruffle, I'll do my best at keeping those seed spuds in the best shape so they will last till planting time. I am truly going to enjoy planting them, watching them grow and best of all tasting all the varieties!
Nothing like a good root cellar to keep stuff. Mine needs some work this summer...as does some other parts of the cabin that are getting older.
Many of the nurseries in the Mat-Su/Palmer/Wasilla area should have a stock of a variety of Alaska seed spuds in the next month or so, give or take.
Otherwise, Alaska Mill and Feed in the industrial area of Anchorage, just north of the Mission, often has a variety. They've been selling out early these past few years, with only a few exceptions of type of potato. It was shortage of stock in my acquisition of local seed spuds that led me to plant the Shepody variety last year; it was nearly all that was left!!
Typically in the neighborhood of $8.00 to $10.00/five lb. bag of certified organbic seed spuds.
The Ebbessons in Fbks have a long-standing certified organic seed spud production operation out of the Nenana area that's operated successfully for many years now. I think there may also be another production source for certified seed spuds in Delta Jct., and in the Mat-Su, as well. You can inquire at the nurseries as to who is supplying them these days, though I know that Alaska Mill and Feed often has -at least- the Ebbesson's stock, and perhaps the Mat-Su products as well.
There's dozens (if not over a hundred) different varieties of red spuds to choose from, depending on who has which varieties available on any given year. Same for white and off-white/yellow spuds. There's purple and blue spuds as well. Each has their own charateristics, in terms of starch/sugar levels, texture, color/shade, depth of flavor, applications in cooking, etc.
On any given year, Mill and Feed wil have close to 8 or 12 different varieties to pick from. While there's lots of varieties grown in Alaska and n. America, many seed suppliers only produce so many hybrids/strains/varieties in a given year..