The Uninspired Garden

Purple Viking Potato

By Jannie Vaught

Just when your garden is struggling and your enthusiasm is at an all-time low, something or someone steps into your path and shares with you something that sets that spark a light.

This happened this Saturday at our LLano farmers market. Elizabeth Mcmahon “Beth” horticulture county extension agent for Gilespie county, regularly comes to Llano farmers market and has her lovely produce for sale.

This Saturday she had potatoes. And not any old potatoes, there were 4 “new to this gardener” varieties available. Purple Viking potato, truly a beautiful purple with lighter colors mottled and swirled. To salon pink. They are creamy white sweet and buttery. All-purpose potato with long shelf life and are scab and somewhat leafhopper resistant. Next, she pulled out Harlequin Gold a new variety that is heat tolerant. Pink and yellow skin mottled, large and good keepers, A beautiful potato. Next came a bag of German Butterball. This has been grown for a long time but new to me. A small round potato with yellow buttery flesh. They say they are good on the grill. I boiled them and did a course mash with lots of butter and sea salt. Fantastic. All of these potatoes she purchased from “Grand Teton organic seed potatoes “online. You will be inspired to see all the variety there and from what she grew I would say they are a good place to get your seed potatoes and again get inspired.

Another potato came out of her bag, Mountain Rose,


This one is spectacular. A brand new bright red inside and out and she said they are excellent for homemade potato chips. Bonus! I will be making some of those. She bought them from “Potato Garden” online. All in all, it has been a very excellent Farmers Market especially when Beth arrives. You just never know when inspiration will arrive just when you need it. And now newly inspired I am planning on these potatoes to go in the garden. Take a minute and go to these websites and have a look. Another special treat she sells is Kohlrabi!

Let’s take a look at this plant. German turnip or Turnip cabbage. Brassica oleracea, a low stout cultivar of wild cabbage. They are a rounded glode from the swollen stem. The leaves are also edible. They taste like a broccoli stem or cabbage heart but sweeter. They come in three colors, pale green, white and purple, all are pale yellow inside. They are often prepared raw such as slaw and strips for salads. And this is a funny looking vegetable. like something from another world, but don’t let that put you off. This is delicious crisp food and grows here just fine. Another one to place on the list for next years garden and just think I was feeling uninspired.

Thank You, Beth Mcmahon, for the inspiration and all the great education and where to get these beauties from!

Out growing green and working on the garden journal planner with Jannie