A Blue Potato by Any Other Name…

Would taste just as sweet?  Maybe not.  But it probably would taste the same.  There are about 30 blue fleshed heirloom potatoes that are common in North America and Europe, but it turns out that they are almost all synonymous.  In fact, there may really only be two common blue heirlooms: All Blue and Purple […]

Arracacha: Flogged into Flowering

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) flowers

If I had to pick one indispensable personality trait for the plant breeder, it would be patience.  It is one of the few areas of endeavor I can think of where doing something the same way, repeatedly, until it works, is a viable strategy.  It is surprising how often I succeed with a plant at […]

A Change to Our Seed Guarantee

Solanum brevicaule seeds

The major portion of our business is selling clonal crops, in the form of roots and tubers.  Because roots and tubers are perishable and vulnerable to all kinds of problems in packing and shipping, we guarantee them.  You should expect that roots and tubers that you receive will substantially sprout and grow.  After that, it […]

Potato: The Story of Rozette

Tubers of the potato variety 'Rozette'

I was recently interviewed for the Free the Seed podcast, where we discussed the selection of our new potato variety Rozette.  This blog post is a companion to that podcast. The Pacific Northwest has a few heirloom potatoes that precede large scale settlement of the area by Europeans.  The most famous of these potatoes is […]

Oca: Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Leaf of an oca plant infected with Cauliflower Mosaic Virus

I recently spotted virus symptoms of a sort that I haven’t seen before on an oca plant.  Although oca is frequently infected with several different viruses, they are typically asymptomatic.  This plant had some lower leaves with obvious yellowing and mosaic and some leaf tip browning.  I ran it through a few ELISA tests for […]

Top 10 Beginner Mistakes with True Potato Seeds (TPS)

Potato (TPS) Seedlings

Growing new varieties of potatoes from true potato seeds is a lot of fun, but there is definitely a learning curve.  This post covers some of the most common mistakes that I have seen beginners make (and, in many cases, once made myself). 1. Starting too early This is probably the cardinal sin of growing […]

Arracacha: A New Beginning

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) variety comparison

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) is just the sort of plant that I normally try to talk myself out of growing.  It is delicious, but a real challenge to grow in most climates.  It originated in the middle elevations of the Andes, a Goldilocks climate where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.  […]