Storytime with Beth: The Purple Potato Rock

If we grow potatoes--and we have taken a few years off here and there--we like to grow "weird" ones.  Fingerlings and colorful varieties and stuff like that.  We've grown the more standard spuds, like Russets and Yukon Golds, but they're just so mundane and aren't really that expensive at the store anyways.  Meanwhile, the price tag for a bag of fingerlings is outrageous more often than not.  So that's primarily what we grow, the oddball ones--and maybe a few hills of red potatoes so that Matt can enjoy Creamy Potatoes and Peas.  
My favorite"fall tree" stands at the northwest corner of our lot.  It is the first that turns golden and the leaves fall so steadily that within a week it has bare branches.  I look forward to it each year.  9/28/21
Purple potatoes are fantastic!   I didn't even know purple potatoes existed until Matt started getting seed catalogs all those years ago.  This is actually true of all the vegetables. I thought all cauliflower was white.  I thought all carrots were orange.  I thought all beans were green.  And so on.
Freshly dug potatoes really elevate an already awesome breakfast combo.  There is nothing quite like that earthy taste.  This plate features Gimme Lean sausage patties, baking powder biscuits, and a breakfast scramble comprised of tofu, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and potatoes--topped with zippy corn gravy.   10/24/2021
But, back to the potatoes.  We've grown some spuds that are merely purple skinned and some that have purple flesh all the way through.  Our most commonly planted purple variety is one called All Blue.  This year we grew some purple fingerlings which produced the most vibrantly purple potatoes yet.  They're solidly purple.  A deep, royal purple, too.  I think they're just beautiful.   If memory serves they're called Purple Peruvian Fingerlings. 
The white flesh of some (store-bought) potatoes makes a striking contrast to our (homegrown) purple ones.  9/26/2021
Matt and I harvest potatoes in tandem--he forks the earth and I root around for the goods.  It is a gardening treasure hunt for two!  While we were digging spuds last week I remembered a funny story that I don't think I have ever shared here.
An view of the changing autumn colors from the Rims.  10/21/2021
Back in 2016 we had a swell haul of potatoes.  We'd washed them* and they were spread out on towels to air dry before storage.  As I was walking through the kitchen the next day one of the "potatoes" caught my eye.  I stopped and, upon inspection, realized it was totally a rock.  A rock that we had harvested, washed, and weighed while it masqueraded as a purple potato.  It was a hoot.
That's a potato imposter right there.  2016
That is about the only downfall to the purple varieties.  They're sorta camouflaged.  They blend in with the earth.  They can sure resemble rocks or clumps of dirt.  It requires closer attention while harvesting or else perfectly good potatoes get overlooked and/or rocks get harvested in addition to the spuds.  A red potato or a Yukon gold, they jump out visually in contrast to the garden soil.  Not so with those beautiful purple weirdos.  They're worth it though, 'cause they're so pretty.
They can be quite tricky to spot. 2016
Matt dug our final half row yesterday.  It was perfect timing since it rained heavily overnight.

*Matt, bless him, scrubs all of the potatoes prior to storage.  This is a rather tedious job when it comes to the fingerlings.  There are so many of them!


  1. Homegrown potatoes are so good. I've grown red, white and blue potatoes, so we could have patriotic potato salad :o), but those were the white fleshed blue. The fingerlings sure are pretty.

    1. Red, white and blue potatoes! That's fantastic. I might have to suggest it to my head gardener next year...I bet Matt would get a kick out of that.

  2. Hi Beth,
    ...I definitely agree about home grown potatoes...although I haven't grown any since we left North Dakota...but Mom gave us some at our last visit...and they were so delicious...I can see how it would be easy to harvest a rock...haha...
    ~Have a lovely day!

    1. Same with carrots and most root veg. Somehow the "dirt" taste is a good thing. It makes them even better. (Though, let's be honest, I'll eat pretty much any potato in any form.)


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