All Things Potato Workshop set for April 8


An All Things Potato Workshop will take place on April 8 at 10 a.m. at the CSU Extension office.
Research horticulturalist David Holm from the San Luis Valley Research Center will tell us all about growing potatoes in our climate, nutritional values, pests, harvesting, storage and more.
You can place your order for certified seed after the workshop, but orders will start April 1. We will be offering: Yukon golds (yellow skin/flesh), mountain rose (red skin/flesh), Colorado rose (red skin/white flesh), purple majesty (purple skin/flesh), fingerlings (yellow) and masquerade (two toned skin/white flesh). The cost of the seed potatoes is $1 per pound. The orders will be ready to pick up on May 9.
Yellow potatoes such as Yukon gold are marble to large size, round or oblong shape, have light tan to golden skin and yellow to golden flesh. They have a slightly waxy, velvety and moist texture. Yellows are subtly sweet, rich and buttery and with a medium-sugar content, making them great for grilling, roasting, mashing and salads.
Red-skinned potatoes like the mountain and Colorado rose have a firm, smooth, moist and creamy texture. The flavor is subtly sweet and well suited for salads, soups and stews because slices and chunks maintain their shape during cooking and mixing. They are also excellent baking potatoes. The purple majesty has an earthy, buttery taste. They are good roasted, but also to use in potato salads, soups, mashed,or fried. The size is not typically large, although few will get russet sized, but more like the size of a tennis ball or plum and smaller. This makes them great for roasting and sliced, however.
The masquerade potatoes offer a creamy and buttery flavor when cooked, but the bicolored thin skin has a golden yellow base and is covered in dominant spots of purple and violet, which make this a fun potato to grow.
Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the second largest fresh potato growing region in the U.S. for good reason. Situated at an elevation of 7,600 feet, nestled between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains, the valley enjoys mild temperatures and 350 days of sunshine a year. Part of an ancient lake bed, the fertile soil has been enriched by a unique mix of mineral deposits and is further enhanced by abundant annual snow melt. That is why over 150 potato-growing families have made the San Luis Valley their home for generations.
The best seed available is certified seed produced under carefully controlled isolation, disease control and storage. Buy certified seed every year because home produced planting stock can become infected with disease in a single season. Infestation with diseases can result in a high-yielding crop the year before producing poor yields and low-quality tubers the following year.
Colorado potato fun facts
• Colorado is the second largest fresh potato growing region in the entire United States.
• There are over 70 unique varieties of Colorado potatoes.
• Many Colorado potatoes are grown in the San Luis Valley, which is the largest alpine valley on Earth.
• A total of 50,000 to 65,000 acres of potatoes are planted in Colorado each year. That’s around 78 square miles, or enough to cover all of Washington, D.C. (68 square miles), in potato fields, and then some.
• Potatoes have been farmed in Colorado since 1875. In that year, Ulysses S. Grant was president, and the very first recorded hockey game and Kentucky Derby happened.
• The estimated value of Colorado potatoes produced in 2014 was $214,802,000. That’s a stack of money that’s over 14 miles high. That’s more than two times as high as Mount Everest.
• An average of 7.5 million pounds of potatoes are produced in Colorado every day. That’s equivalent to 300 school buses (average school bus weighing 25,000 pounds). That’s approximately 2.3 billion pounds of potatoes every year, or 92,000 school buses.
To find out more information, please call the CSU Extension office at 264-5931 or email
Upcoming CSU
Extension programs
April 8: Potato Workshop, 10 a.m. at the Extension office. Learn about how to grow potatoes in the high country. Call 264-5931 to sign up. Seed potato orders will begin April 1.
April 13: Mountain High Gardeners Garden Expo, 10 a.m.-noon at the Extension office.
April 30: Pesticide Education Workshop, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Extension office. This is a free workshop.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience.