Baked, mashed, fried or boiled….

Here are some Ozette fingerling potatoes, one of 4 kinds that we grew here this year. They have an interesting history from the Slow Food website –
The Ozette came from Peru by way of Spanish explorers to the Makah Indians at Neah Bay, Washington in the late 1700s. The Ozette is also known by the names, Anna Cheeka’s Ozette and Makah Ozette. It is considered a fingerling potato, as its size ranges from 3-7 inches in length and 0.75-1.5 inches in diameter. The potato has an earthy and nutty flavor that is similar to the taste sensed in cooked dry beans. The flesh is firm and the texture is very creamy. The Ozette is generally served steamed, fried, or roasted. The Ozette is grown predominantly in private gardens for specialty menus and for personal consumption.

An abstract of a research paper about the Ozette says they are closer to the original Andean wild potatoes than modern russet or “Irish” types. Must be because they were brought here so long ago, almost directly from their land of origin. They are pretty tasty, though they don’t keep in the ground as long as a russet potato. I think we’ll grow more next year.

We grew another kind called the Nooksack. It was locally developed for wet, cold growing seasons. Too bad summers here are now hot & dry! It did pretty well though, and is a nice generic baking-type spud. The kind I wanted to try was sold out (Butte, with 20% more protein than other potatoes) so we’ll see if the Nooksack gets another run, based on choices next spring.

Our other 2 spud plantings were a Yukon Gold and a red I forget the name of. Neither did really well or really poorly, so maybe we’ll try something else for those types too. I did read that for storage potatoes in the NW, it’s better to get really late maturing kinds. That way they can stay in the dirt longer and you can dig them until it freezes. If you have them mature too soon, they will try and sprout again if the dirt is warm enough. But for “new” potatoes, like red, gold and fingerlings, you pretty much have to dig and eat them as they are ready. We left the fingerlings a tad too long and some are goat fodder due to bug bites.

And that’s our spud lesson for today!
Now it’s time for canning, cleaning, cooking, chickie coop adjusting, dog wrangling, and other assorted pastimes enjoyed at Seven Trees….


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