By Robin Young | PREVIEW Columnist
It’s that time of year for ordering certified seed potatoes from the San Luis Valley Research Center.
Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the second-largest 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 more than 150 potato growing families have made the San Luis Valley their home for generations.
We will be offering seed potato that include the yellow and red varieties. Yukon Gold is of the yellow variety. Yellow potatoes 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.
With rosy skin and white flesh, red-skinned potatoes like the Mountain 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 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.
Order by calling (970) 264-5931, emailing email@example.com or fill out the Google form found on our website: https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/seed-potatoes/.
Please make sure your soil temperature is at least 55 degrees F during the day and 45 degrees at night.
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.
Archuleta County 4-H needs volunteers. We are looking for short-term commitment for superintendents at the county fair. Please contact our office at (970) 264-5931 or contact 4-H Coordinator Becky Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The shredding event has been canceled until further notice. Due to new ownership of the shredding company, we can no longer offer our biannual shredding event. We used this service, too, so we understand the inconvenience. We will work on bringing another shredding event to Archuleta County. Thank you for your past participation.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month starting Feb. 21 and 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid, and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 264-5931 to register.