Welcome folks to our Novelty section! I am listing here only a few unusual varieties that cannot be classified anywhere else in our sections. Once again, a $$$ at the end of a description indicates its available, however few…
Regarding potato seed varieties for 2023!
I have small amounts of Ama Rosa, Pink Fir Apple, French Fingerlings, Lindzer Deleketess, Peruvian Purple and the Rare Cariboo. I have more quantity of All Reds, German Butterball and Alta Blush. Please arranged ahead, then come down to pick up as I won’t be shipping. Just not cost effective…
Information of this Novelty Section will remain Online for Educational Purposes only. Please do not use without my exclusive permission.
- Asparagus “Mary Washington” – OMG! In the last 3 years, a ton of babies germinated alongside the “mother” plants. I now have WAY too many babies to content with! A trusted variety from many, many years ago. Producing vigorous medium green tender spears. Excellent frozen. Sunny area, rich with compost and free from excess standing water. Transplant 1 year old roots to their permanent location…18” apart, one from another, in rows, one meter apart. Keep feeding the young plants for the first year. In following years, add compost or old rotted manure. Keep area always moist, but not overly wet. Should drain well. Healthy LG clumps in early spring ’23 per clump $5.00
- Asparagus “Purple Passion” – OP Here is the newest introduction in our Novelty section. A heirloom from Italy! A milder, yet crisp and sweet version of the original green forms. Excellent fresh from the garden BUT as with some “colored” vegetables, loses its purple when either steamed or cooked. Spears just as large as “Jersey King“, but not predominately male! Will over winter in Manitoba…Z.3 quite well.
- Chufa Nuts – (aka Tiger Nuts, aka Rush Nuts, aka Earth Almonds) I have heard about these wee tubers for a few years now and thought I must trial a few of these myself. Better still, why don’t you try some with me? A traditional favorite in Europe for years…and why are we just trying them now? These are usually propagated vegetatively and rarely do plants offer seed. You have to plant a nut to grow a nut! Appear as grassy plants (like short oats) that expands within its clump. As Sept. rolls around, the wee nuts which are about the size of a peanut are dug from the ground (growing on the plants’ fine roots…) and prepared for winter much like sweet potatoes. No refrigeration for these! After harvest, they become sweeter (like coconuts…) as they dry. Apparently they contain nearly 30% oil…a prized form too! Useful in cereals, for snacks and can also be ground up for baking or to create the base for a popular Spain drink called “Horchata de Chufas”! I will have planting instructions to go with these. Just ask me for them. Pkt…$3.00
- Garbanzo “Black” – (aka Kabuli Black Chick Pea, aka Kabouli Black) The name Kabuli means “from Kabul” in Hindi & is thought to have been coll. orig. from Kabul, Afghanistan. 2-foot tall plants produce small pods that offer dark purple garbanzo beans. The purple color is a pigment called anthocyanine. This enables the seed to sprout in cooler soil conditions, ideal for shorter seasons and northern gardens. 105 days. Limited…Pkt…$3.00
- Garbanzo “Green Chana” – Originated from India. Here is a variety of “Chick Pea” that is green colored. (after doing some research…there are many colorful varieties available to N.A. gardeners, brought about by foreign seed traders and sellers) These are commonly ground into flour and have various uses in Indian cuisine. These will grow into small shrubs of 2 feet…unusual colored variety.
- Job’s Tears – Used for praying beads since 2000 BC. Recently uncovered in a Western historical site. ?Orig. in India. When the polished grey/white grain-like hard cone shaped seeds are mature, there is a perfect hole through the very middle of them. Nature-perfect bead! Used for making rosaries and for musical African shaker gourds. Prolific grassy grain-looking plants that offer up an abundance of seed. This variety is primarily used ornamentally. Another (softer seeded) form is offered as a grain for consumption. A long season annual…?120 days. Plants grow from 30”-36” tall. Harvest when seed turn white to dark grey. It is suggested that plants be planted in very lean, quick-draining soils. Nitrogen rich soils produce too much grass and less seed. Harvest before frost damages them.
- Peanuts “Schronce Black” – Germination went crazy! Had great summer growing results, despite way heavier than usual rainfall (22″) ! Will re-trial in ’17 placing them in heavier compost and report back later…
- Peanuts “Valencia” – a standard eating peanut, very productive in Manitoba. Does better in warm sandy soils. Put out when all chance of frost is over and soil has sufficiently warmed up. Plant these 1 foot apart, one from another in loose, very fertile, well worked soil with plenty of compost enriched. Keep very moist. Lack of moisture will slow down the “manufacturing” process. In late fall, dig up entire plant and (with pods attached) dry hang up in a warm shaded windy place. Cure well before removing the pods. Roast @ 190C/375F till a gentle golden brown. Do not over roast! (I had seeded these directly into the garden (25 years ago…one early spring) and found many peanut clusters when I was forced to dig them up in early September, because our new house was coming on top of them! Darn!)
- Poppy “Persian White Seeded” – An edible white seeded variety. Large white flowers fade in 24 hours…later producing large oval seed heads. All other varieties produce grey or black seeds…this one contains only WHITE SEEDS. Perfect for breads and cakes. An annual that germinates well by us. Pkt…$3.00
- Potato “Ahmed’s Red storage – New for 2023! My friend Ahmed gave me a bag full few years back. They haven’t reached huge sizes but BOY can they produce tons of nice medium roundish sized tubers! And they store the best of all my varieties. Spring ’23 pickup Limited per LB…$4.00
- Potato “All Reds” – It continues to impressed me in garden trials for it production, flavor and good storage abilities. I am a sucker for that excellent rosey-pink moist flesh (like the flesh of my Japanese apple…) Large tubers are somewhat oval/round, skin is a deep rose/red. AND it cooks up well, holding its shape no matter where I used it. I had to laugh when my hubby mixed it into one of his “goulashes” and thought the pink/rose pieces were meat! A mid. to late season variety. Spring ’23 Pickup… Limited… per lb…$4.00
- Potato “Alta Blush” – “A potato that grew out of a trash heap”…John Safroniuk of Wetaskwin, Alberta says. “This was a chance accident. I harvested my potatoes in the fall and wasn’t really as neat as I could have been and tossed the potato vines in a corner of the garden. In the spring of 1992, I noticed potato plants growing where the pile had been. When I dug the potatoes that fall, they came out of the ground in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors…the result of different types of potatoes self-pollinating. It took me (John) 15 (!) years to finally derive, refine it AND register it! It is a medium sized var., oval/flattish with reddish light brown skin and a hint of pink.”…Western Producer, Mar.4. 2010. For my 2011 trials, despite it being planted 3 weeks after all the others, it finished right in time with huge productions for each tuber planted. (According to Canadian government potato trials, it out performed 30 other varieties in their trials, esp. in production…) I was also impressed with it’s storage abilities (as good as Russet Burbank) and its fine mashed potato flavor. No disease noted. Plants are smaller in stature and overall size. See Photo in Album. A great one for smaller gardens. Spring ’23 Pickup Limited per lb…$4.00
- Potato “Ama Rosa” – (c/o Eagle Creek…) A mid-season fingerling potato with a smooth bright red skin, and deep red flesh. These creamy nutritious fingerlings are great for baking, roasting, and grilling. Also makes fantastically colorful potato chips as they retain their bright red color when fried. Limited Spring ’23 Pickup. per LB. $4.00
- Potato “Banana Fingerlings” – Of the fingerling varieties, a late & heavy season producer. Originating in the Baltic Republic. Small to medium sized banana-shaped tubers have pale yellow flesh, covered with light yellow skin. Known in potato circles as a “wax” type, able to hold itself together well after being cooked. Trials were outstanding!…up to 80 fingerings per.! Loves sandy soils! Excellent in all types of salads and great baked with their skins on. Moderate resistance to scab.
- Potato “Caribe” – Heads up! Some folks call these “Purple Caribe” which they have not been register to and is confusing people into thinking these are the “Purple Viking“! NOT! Breeder: Young, DeJong, Ag. Canada, New Brunswick. Parentage: F55066 x USDA X96-56. 1981 A mid season high producing variety. Has all the moist texture “spring potato” characteristics, combined with outstanding storage abilities. Excellent for boiling and roasting. Large tubers are oblong, with smooth, even purplish red skin and clean white flesh. Has almost NO small tubers…only large ones in its mounds.
- Potato “Cariboo” – Through the kind graces of a dear gardener and friend Roger Morden of Brandon, MB (him sharing a few wee tubers with me this spring 2015)…I now have some in my possession! It appears this variety rose to the ranks of being one of the best producing potatoes of its time…BUT in later years, it was fazed out BECAUSE its vines were TOO LONG and became tangled in their potato harvesting equipment! Read here an excellent record of its history… http://www.horselakefarmcoop.ca/ceeds/cariboo-potato.html What are these gov. officials thinking!? That’s not a reason to kill the line?? Threatening commercial growers that they will pull their license to grow ANY potatoes, IF they don’t “Cease and Decease”! Making THEM criminals! These “taters” are beautiful…a light pale beige with huge splashes of pink, generally more so around one end, but esp. around its “eyes”! For now they are medium sized, with some teardrop shaping and slightly russet skin texture. Outstanding and unique! RARE! Limited! Spring ’23 Pickup per lb…$6.00
- Potato “Dakota Pearl” – another mid-season producer I have invited into my garden. Judging by its color, pale almost yellow/white skin and white flesh makes it an odd-ball in my collection. I like that! This variety offers good resistance to scab and is known in potato circles as the “potato chip” potato. Tubers are almost round, medium to large, third highest in my trials for production.
- Potato “French Fingerling” – (aka Nosebag ) Here is another “winner” that Eva Pip shared with me. Has the natural tendency to send wee tubers elsewhere, under mulches…to show up NEXT spring, thumbing its nose at me! In our potato trials, its mere “cuteness”, super smooth skin, chubby “bullet” shape, yellow flesh and its hot pink/tan skin blew me away. Not a mark of disease on them. Very early. Easy to harvest. Another in the “wax” department. And very tasty. As some historians tell us: “Will Bonsall reports the original seed came from Mark Fulford of Monroe, ME with a curious story. The friend Mark went to a French farm to buy a race horse. He was invited in to lunch, where he commented on the tasty potatoes…wishing he could take back some seed…but for quarantine restrictions, no more was said. When the horse arrived home, a single tuber was found at the bottom of its feedbag” (S.S.Ex.)…hence its name! Tried it! Loved it! Spring ’23 Pickup Limited per LB…$4.00
- Potato “German Butterball” – I am very excited to introduce this variety because of its unusual traits. A fantastic buttery flavored, deep yellow fleshed, oval/roundish shaped (with its very distinctive rough netting) Heirloom. Another greatness? Tons of tubers…usually medium sized…second highest in production trials. A “growing local” chef would give his dentures for this one! Great for all sorts of uses – boiling, baking and roasting…with its skin on please! Tried it and loved it! Biggest Seller and very popular! Spring ’23 Pickup per LB. – $4.50.
- Potato “Kennebec” – Breeder: USDA. parentage: USDA B127 x X96-56. 1948 Grows best in Northern American States and Canada. One of my personal all time favorites with its very smooth pale beige yellow skin, very shallow eyes, oblong, flattish large tubers and light beige/white flesh. “Named for the mighty river which bisects the US state.” Proven very adaptable to a wide range of soils and growing conditions. Seed suppliers say that it is a mid-season producer, capable of huge production. (mine have always arrived into their glory in late season…) In one certain “long-a-go” rain drenched (12″ in the month of June) summer, using the “mulched/long high hill” method, harvested 15 – 5 gallon pails off 12 short rows! Excellent as a storage variety, for “Barbie” roasts, chipping and baking in the oven. Has long been known as a “drier” variety. Very tolerant of diseases such as black leg, late blight and scab AND does well in dry spells. Plants (with white flowers) will grow quite large, so give it room.
- Potato “Lindzer Deleketess” – Found these to be a mid-season maturing variety, most popular for boiling or salads. The tubers are smaller than the likes of “Purple Viking” but twice the size of fingerlings. Shape is oval/flat, very smooth, elongated and waxy with yellow skins. This winter has found these to “store” the best of ALL varieties, which quite amazed us. Spring ’23 Pickup Limited per LB…$4.50
- Potato “Nooksak” – “was developed in 1963 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington State from a cross between “Kennebec” potatoes and a potato referred to as “A501-13” in 1961. During dev., it was known as “WN168.” Released and registered in Canada in 1977. (Could there be the chance these potatoes maybe descendants of the white potato grown by the Nooksak Native American tribe in Whatcom County in the northwest corner of Washington State? They did grow white potatoes!) These are oblong, slightly-flattened potatoes with smooth, russet skin & white flesh. These are floury potatoes, marketed for direct to consumer sales and for processing into French Fries. The plant delivers high yields in a late harvest.” (c/0 Cooks Info.com) Read more here: http://potatoassociation.org/industry/varieties/russet-potato-varieties/nooksack-solanum-tuberosum
- Potato “Norland Red” – Breeder: Johnsen et al., North dakota Start University. Parentage: Red Kote x ND626. Original parent dev. in 1957. Later years released 2 darker red mutants as this variety. Where would we be without our famous early variety for “stealing spring fresh” taters??! Maybe not the highest producing type, but certainly one of the earliest. Tubers are slightly oval/roundish with smooth red skin, shallow eyes and white flesh. No internal defects or irregular shapes…unless your garden is loaded with stones! Gardeners know these as the most moist variety grown. Some resistant to early blight, scab, rhizoctonia noted. Could be prone to high water tables, “greening” and late blight. Has a shorter dormancy period.
- Potato “Peanut Fingerlings” – Sooo darn cute…I can almost “taste” these now! Skin is a dark olive/tan/gold. Flesh is moist, firm, nutty and yellow (another waxy type) making it an excellent variety for your garden. “Fingerlings” tend to be smaller than most others (don’t peel) perfect for roasting. A late season heavy producer.
- Potato “Peruvian Purple” – My hard working, gardening “gru” Eva Pip gave me a few of these some springs ago. She had been “crowing” about them for years. And now I have some to re-offer. I have always grown “Russian Blue” and was not prepared for the production, nor the size of these beauties! Some were almost 10″ long and about 3 1/2″ in girth! Elongated, dark purple skin, semi-shallow eyes with cream/purple flesh. Excellent flavor. Only trouble…I had to “chase” the long (3-4ft) strong healthy vines from under every other potato variety growing around it! They refused to stay home! AND no scab was to be seen. Thank you Eva! Lots to spare. Limited! Spring ’23 Pickup per lb…$5.00
- Potato “Pink Fir Apple” – Well, we liked the “Peanut Fingerlings” so much last year that we needed to bring in another”knobby” long creature with dusty pink skin this time. As always, excellent for salads with their firm waxy flesh, either boiled or baked. Limited Spring ’23 Pick up per LB. $4.00
- Potato “Purple Viking” – Some folks have mistakenly called this one “Purple Caribe“, which it is not. I have always liked its Red cousin the “Viking“, so the transition should posse no problems, especially as this one is somewhat resistant to scab. Oval/roundish tubers can reach huge proportions, having a beautiful mottled purple & pink colored skin with pure white flesh and shallow eyes. Reported to be “Ugly & Strong!”as its name suggests. When spaced about 20″+ apart will offer larger tubers than when planted closer. Another with very few small tubers hanging around! A heavy, mid-season producer on smaller plants. Great just fresh baked or boiled with cream and dill. N/A
- Potato “Russet Burbank” – (aka Netted Gem) Breeder: Sweet, private. 1947. Parentage: Russet sport of Burbank (1917!). The predominant cultivar in US & Canada for French Fries! I have seen these hang around almost every super market, greenhouse, nursery AND my parents and grandparent’s farm for as long as I can remember. Classed as full heirloom. A late season, excellent storing, very reliable, heavy producer for any garden. Distinctive “russet” (netted) golden/brownish skin encloses very flavorful pale yellow flesh. Tubers are also unique… long, roundish in its girth and cylindrical. My grand kids had a ball digging these babes out! Very easy! A wonderful baking potato and as mentioned in my newsletter, it is the end of Feb. and I have yet to see any sprouts!
- Potato “Russian Blue” – (aka Congo, aka All Blue, aka Black Russian, aka Davis Purple, etc, etc…!) I truly fell in love with this variety several years ago when I planted it on a whim. Its habit indicated straight away that it would be a late season producer. The white root shoots, tinged with purple could be found “hiding” in every other row, except its own! The potato tops were also huge and tended to sprawl sideways…so give it lots of room. When I started to dig…I had to follow the “money”! They rewarded me with copious, huge, deep purple blue tubers, oblong & roundish, shaped much like “Netted Gems“. A distinctively visual variety with remarkable flavor and appearance. A keeper in my garden.
- Potato “Warba Pink Eye” – A variety that my parents grew, bearing reddish skin, with all the same “bumpy” characteristics was called “Red Warba“…a sport of “Warba Pink Eye“. . That variety was a staple in my parents garden for as long as I can remember. My parents had no problem pulling huge tubers of 2 to 3 lbs consistently from their sandy loamy soils. THIS variety looks identical…kind of round, kind of bumpy “beasties” bearing pale buff skin and deeper reddish eyes (like they had been crying!) THIS is the Original…from 1933! Breeder was: University of Minnesota. Parentage: Triumph x MN4-16. Flesh is crisp, pure white and very tasty. Very resistant to scab and late blight. A late season “multiple” producer. This variety did not grow as large in my heavy soils. Some definite “greening” was noted, as it appears these want to “see” what is going on upstairs! So hill’em well!
- Potato “Yukon Gold” – Breeder: Johnston & Rowberry, Ag. Canada, Ontario. parentage: Norgleam x W5279-4. Released by Ag Canada in 1980. This was one of the first potato varieties I grew here on the farm. A very dear gardening friend of mine Mary Okolita (now passed on) of Beausejour, Man. offered some wee wrinkled tubers to me in 1986, which I gladly planted. Imagine my surprise when I dug these up! These wrinkled tikes had gone to town and produced a whole mass of fresh big round ones! Golden yellow fleshed with golden yellow skin that can handle storage with the best of them. Tubers are roundish with thin skin and a wee bit of pink around the eyes. This was the variety that broke Americans out of their white flesh eating habit. An all-around very useful type. Recommended to plant seed whole.
- Quinoa “Ivory” – A relative of spinach, beets and chard, yet we cook it like all other grains. Quinoa is gluten free and considered a complete protein, as it contains the 9 essential amino acids needed by the body which it can’t make. This variety is the most common type found in stores. If grown correctly, plants can reach over 4 feet tall, producing seed heads of monstrous proportions and weight. Organically sourced. Please see in L. GREENS section…
- Sunflower “Large White Seeded” – New for 2023! When growing these, couldn’t get over the large heads on medium tall thick stem. I was not used to seeing such pure white seeds. Seemed to confuse the birds, as they waited for them to turn darker! Oh ya ! I will have to cover these heads with very fine mesh, next summer, due to tiny insects getting into the seeds! Discovered almost 50% destroyed by them. And I thought the birds would be my worst enemy. AND the biggest ones too! What else?! Very Rare! Pkt…$4.00
- Sunflower “Mongolian Giants” – New for 2022! I thought this one will never develop any heads! For the entire season, all I saw were these giant stems reaching to the clouds, in competition with Jack and his Bean Stalk! I had to support them as winds from the west were threatening to snap them clean off at the soil line. My word! What shallow root system they have!! Final measuring (and they were taller than another corn variety I was growing in close proximity) Over 13 feet! Imagine my surprise when I pulled them down to actually see some giant heads, but to my dismay…birds were already feasting on them and took almost 60% of the fuller seeds! Will have to regrow these as now they have peeked my interest but need a quieter place! AND cover their heads! Limited packets…$3.50
- Sunflower “Small Black Seeded” – Back for 2023! This is the type offered for bird food. Heads are quite large, offering tons of small pure black seeds, perfect for our feather friends. Sometimes just harvesting the heads, drying them and later offering the entire head is super fun to watch they have a go at it! Pkt…$3.00
- Sunflower “Russian Giant” – This is the very common variety grown by folks for a number of years on the prairies. Plants are usually over 6 ft. tall, offering above average sized heads of black and white striped seeds.