Wednesday, 15 December 2010

king edward's potatoes 0 - slugs 4

A cold winter evening. A bowl of delicious mashed potatoes. Butter and milk the only additives - or a little cream to be truly decadent. A great accompaniment to your winter plate.

All potato varieties are different but at their best organic potatoes deliver better quality and higher dry matter than intensively produced spuds.

One of the best varieties for mashing is King Edward's so here we have some home grown, pealed and ready for cooking. There are said to be two kinds of potato - 'waxy' or 'floury' varieties. For a great 'mashing' potato the floury varieties are best and King Edward's is the name we all know as the king of flory varieties.

They delivered a beautiful creamy white mash that was firm and fluffy with lots of flavour.

But. And here's the big BUT...

Grown organically in our light loam their yield was poor and the damage from slugs was the worst we've had from any variety. Look at the waste! Slug damage was like was like spud armageddon! They'd been shot to pieces by the slimy enemy.

This was a poor yielding potato year for us. The ground was too dry in June when the tubers were growing and we didn't water. Even usually reliable varieties yielded badly in contrast to last year when we saw a bumper harvest.

But some varieties lend themselves to organic methods better than others and King Edward's are not such a variety.

Kestrel remains the most reliable variety delivering waxy tubers that have good flavour and reasonable slug resistance.

Our search goes on for a floury variety that will rival Kestrel.

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