Skip to main content

Potato Harvest


Andes Red harvest underway.
I still suffer from what I like to call seasonal jet lag. Potatoes are, to my Midwestern mind, an autumn vegetable grown primarily to be stored up for the winter months and turned into any number of delightful dishes.

However, in my part of Japan, potatoes are a summer crop. They are planted in February (seriously) and grown until sometime around now. Harvest dates vary by variety, but basically all potatoes in this neck of the woods are out of the ground by now.

Bergamot in bloom.
It's still totally crazy to me, but somehow I struggle through and start making Maan's Potato Salad.

Those pictured above are a variety called Andes Red. They have a lovely red skin and yellow flesh. Andes Red breaks down into a creamy soup, but it also holds it together nicely for a chunky potato salad, too. These were grown from purchased seed potatoes. Those I'd saved to grow on last year...didn't. I was disappointed, but I forged on to the local nursery and once again struggled through. (I really love that potato salad.)

My guess is that I harvested about seven to eight kilograms of potatoes that afternoon, and they are beautiful. My only wish, of course, is that I'd planted more. (Did I mention how much I love that potato salad?)

Comments

Andre said…
Hi, I just read your blog about your potatoes I have just bought the same potatoes from Joyful Honda,my question to you is I don't like sweet tasting potatoes at all I usually grow May Queen as I found these to be the best for roasting and chipping are these potatoes sweet and have you made french fries from them?

Cheers Andre
Hi Andre, I'm crazy late with this reply, but here goes anyway. I do not find them particularly sweet; although, now that I'm thinking about it, they may be somewhat. I like their density and potatoe-y flavor. You'll have to let me know what you think!

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro