It was the annual trip yesterday to Ryton for the Potato Day, where over a hundred different varieties of potato are all on sale loose for 20p a tuber, pick & mix stylee.
I've pondered on the varieties that I want to grow this year - weighing up taste, blight resistance, waxy & floury textures, & what will grow well on our soil - & I have been very much helped in coming to my decision by Nic at Nip it in the Bud.
She'd gone through the same decision process a week previously at her local potato day, enlisting the assistance of a potato expert, which helped her considerably. I didn't have a potato expert handy, but was quick to jump on her shirt tails & after some discussions back & forth formulated my wish list.
I chose the following:
International Kidney (6 first early) - these were really tasty last year
Mona Lisa (6 first early) - I wanted Dunluce but there weren't any, so I went with this variety which was recommended instead, partly as it has a nice name.
Osprey (6 second early) - I grew these last year, & very lovely they are too.
Charlotte (6 second early) - really good potato, can't fault these.
Robinta (8 main crop) - red skinned, recommended by Nic as her number one spud - good enough for me
Setanta (8 main crop) - these have been recommended as blight resistant and very tasty, so worth a go.
The bad news with the Dunluce having run out is that John Badger (from the Bottom) had asked if I'd get him some, so that's kippered that. Good news, however, is that I've found a supplier online so we can order them instead.
My good organisation faltered when I realised that I'd failed to work out how many spuds I wanted to buy - I know that it is less than last year, but I couldn't quite recall how many of each I should have had.
Checking back now, I have about half the quantity that I bought last year (i.e. not quite enough), so maybe it's a good job that I will be ordering those Dunluce for JB after all - I can see a few extra sneaking into the 'trolley', just to make the p&p worthwhile.
And confessions of a seed-hoarder: I took with me a shoebox full of packets of saved pea & bean seeds for the seed swap - I had planned to donate these as I have FAR TOO MANY SEEDS, but am ashamed to report that I somehow managed to come home with 4 new varieties of pea, 3 of climbing beans, a packet of red mustard & a pinch of pepper seed.
Oh! I've quite forgotten about the shattered basin, which is currently being held together by duck tape, pending new installation - but that belongs with the next post about wine, I think.