This seems like a “magic of TV” moment. Last week in the newsletter I discussed our planting of potatoes and now we are talking about the harvesting. Well, I’m a few weeks behind on writing.
My potatoes aren’t ready to harvest. I planted my field with the intent to have late season, storage potatoes. What we are enjoying this week is the product of the hard work of one of our certified organic growers, Levy Weaver.
Levy got some of his potatoes out very early. His first variety, the Red Norland, is an early maturing potato. This potato has a firm, slightly waxy texture that is best for boiling and roasting. As a “fryer” it won’t absorb as much oil as a drier potato like a russet or a kennebec.
I think the best time to enjoy red norland potatoes is when they are a “new potato.” What is a new potato? Well, it can be any variety as long as it is picked while the plant is still green. Potatoes convert their sugars to starches for storage; this happens after the plant naturally dies back or is mowed off. For the new potato, it is dug when the plant goes to flower and is still quite young.
The reason for this is that the new potato has a very thin, edible skin. In fact, I guarantee that you will wash off some of the skin when washing your potatoes (as some has already been rubbed off when the farmer washed it). The skin is very delicate and makes for a buttery, delicious potato.
For storage potatoes (not these), the potatoes need to go through a “curing” stage to help develop thicker skins. This usually happens after the plant dies or is mowed off. The potatoes are left in the ground for a week or two (depending on weather conditions) then dug and spread out to cure further in an area with good circulation. The good potatoes survive and the bad ones become obvious. This is usually how potatoes are harvested in the fall.
It is best to consume your new potatoes within the week. If not, please store them in the refrigerator.