The Maine Potato Lady


I’m in the north and I am growing sweet potatoes too. I just dumped a 55 gallon drum and got 20 lbs 11 ounces. Most were at the top. The bottom 2/3rds was really dry soil. I should have deep watered more. It was fun to grow them I’ll try them again next year.


It is always fun to dig these up in the fall; exploring the unknowns, not knowing what is under there…your potatoes look good!!! It has been raining here and I have not been in the garden. I’m waiting for a nice sunny day to begin the digging…


Thankyou Courtney, The orange ones and a couple reds were in the top 1/3. Reds were in the middle and the whites were at the bottom. I think the reds and whites were in to dry of soil. When digging at first they looked like I struck gold! I thought I was going to have 60lbs, lol! Then there was hardly anything in the bottom 2/3. It sure was fun. The hard part is waiting all summer to see what grew. I put more pictures here: Sweet potato harvest


@BobVance, did you come to any final conclusions this year? I had a pretty good harvest but didn’t notice a huge difference in taste or texture – probably because I mostly pan-fried mine in butter or baked them with sausage and peppers. I think next year I’ll order only smooth skinned types since those are easier to clean and prep for cooking. So probably Adirondack Blue and German Butterball.


That’s what I’m sayin’. I find the easiest way to bring potatoes to the table for most dishes is to can them right out of the ground before a tough skin forms, so no peeling is needed. Wash, chop, pressure can. To serve, saute garlic in some butter and add potatoes, S&P, done. Use a blenderizer stick to mash, or add to stews, or make potato leek soup, yum.


Here’s my overall summary. I didn’t keep my potatoes properly labeled, so I can only definitively distinguish some of them.

In parenthesis is the skin/flesh color.

Grow again:

Yellow Haze- (yellow/yellow) Large, productive, and very tasty.

Anuschka- (yellow/yellow) Early, productive and tasty.

Bora Valley- (purple/purple&white)- very productive, early, and pretty tasty (though different from the two yellows above).

Magic Molly- (purple/dark purple) - This one is on the cusp of falling into the next group due to inconsistent yields, but it is reasonably tasty and the dark flesh is just so pretty that I’ll grow it again.

May or may not grow again:

Pinto Gold- (red & yellow/yellow fingerling) Tasty, but only medium productive and quite a few smaller ones. But they are pretty, with the splotched look.

Huckleberry Gold- (purple/yellow) Tasty yellow flesh, with purple skin. I would move it up, but don’t recall it being that productive.

Yellow Finn- (yellow/yellow) I actually mixed these up with the Yellow Haze and Anuschka in storage, so I can’t be sure how good they are. But I haven’t noticed any of the yellow ones being bad, so these must be at least reasonably good. Likewise, I don’t recall the yield, but I think it was at least middle of the road if not pretty good.

Others in this category that I didn’t grow this year:
All Blue
German Butterball

Never growing again:

Peanut- (yellow-brown/yellow) lots of tiny potatoes. Not super productive and a lot of work to harvest and cook all the little buggers. Nothing special from a taste perspective either. Will probably pass on them in the future, but don’t hate them.

Harvest Moon- (purple/yellow) Middling taste (not poor like the next two), but not productive/healthy.

Papa Cacho- (red/pink, long fingerling) Robust, healthy, vigorous plants, which produce medium sized crop of poor tasting (dry) potatoes.

King Harry- (white/white) Very productive, but not all that good tasting, which left me eating a lot of so-so potatoes. I thought I would never finish them, so that I could bring up a batch of good tasting ones from storage in the garage…It’s not as noticeable how bad they are if you use enough fat with them. Cooked in butter, they aren’t bad. But if you have any other varieties with them, you can immediately tell which ones are much tastier.

Anyone got their potatoes planned out for next year yet? I’ll probably do at least a couple from my top 4. I’m going to check out TMPL to see if anything else catches my eye. Maybe a red-fleshed one? I tried a couple reds 2-3 years ago, but wasn’t thrilled with either. I remember one of them (Mountain Rose of Adirondak Red) rotted for me. I’m not sure which, but I think that AR was the rotter.

Current my plan is to try to find some Crimson Goldfingers at the specialty store (I haven’t been there is some time to know if they are back in stock). I may pickup some French Fingerlings there as well, as they used to carry them.

From TMPL, the plan is:
Purple Peruvian- 3 lbs. New from TMPL, but I think I’ve had this one before from a store. I vaugely recall it being good, so it’s worth a try.

Natascha- 5 lbs. No Anuschka this year and this (a new one) is the reccomended as an early yellow sub.

French Fingerling- 3 lbs (assuming I don’t find them at the store)

Vivaldi- 2.5 lbs- New, a mid-season yellow from Europe. Supposed to be naturally buttery. From what I read online, it is also slightly lower calorie than other potatoes. Of course, I’m not sure if that is that a good thing.

Yellow Haze- 5 lbs

Bora Valley- 5 lbs


This year my La Ratte was outstanding as was my Butterball! Aboutvfive pounds of each!


German Butterball coming up.

Finally getting the rest of my seed potatoes in their grow bags today. This is Adirondack Blue.


So what did everyone get this year? I waited to order until pretty late, so a lot was out of stock. Then, after I ordered, I was browsing again (just after my order arrived) and noticed that some things had come back in stock. No choice, but to place a second order…

First Order:
Natascha- Early season yellow
Adirondack Red- mid season red flesh
Magic Molly- dark purple flesh. Fingerling shaped but larger.

Second Order:
Lilly- Early-mid German yellow variety
French Fingerling- I’ve liked this redish fingerling for a while
Butterfly- Early yellow “creamer”, relatively small size
Masquerade- mid season purple with yellow splotched skin and yellow flesh. Reminds me Pinto Gold in looks.

This is the first time for me to try Lilly, Butterfly, and Masquerade.

Other than Magic Molly (which I only got a bit of) they are all either early or Mid season. That means that some should be ready near the end of July. At that point I can plant a 2nd crop which will be ready in October.


I have magic molly and banana varieties from fedco coming up, as well as a few kennebecs saved from last year. Most of the kennebecs didn’t store well and ended up having to be tossed. I have a root cellar but maybe it didn’t stay cold enough.

I love how the magic molly leaves are purple/black when coming up! Cool. After a few days they turn greener:

Has anyone ever ordered potatoes from GRIN?


Got Keuka Gold and Lilly from Maine Potato lady this year.


Maine Potato Lady has been our principal supplier for the last few years. It has been too wet, so I am only starting my potato planting this week. We plant to sell at a farmers market, but we don’t only buy for that. With their unusual coloring, I thought Purple Viking would be a great seller, but it never has been. I still like the coloring, so I continue to plant some. Magic Molly is now the only all purple potato we grow. Darkest color, best flavor, and most productive.

I prefer German Butter Ball to Bintje, but a couple customers ask for Bintje by name, so we grow both. Tried Anuschka as couple years ago, and I may like them better than GBB. Not sure exactly what it is about them, but we’ve preferred the European yellow fleshed potatoes to Keuka Gold and Keuka Gem.

We acquired Romanz from Ronniger’s before it merged with someone else to become Potato Garden. Since it doesn’t offer it any more, it is fortunate that our stock has kept going for all these years. It remains a favorite of mine, and is far better than any other red skinned, yellow fleshed potato I know (but I don’t know many).

Fingerlings usually sell pretty well, especially the mixed assortments we put together. We always grow Rose Finn Apple, but they are pretty much for ourselves, since their unusual nodules don’t attract customers. They get comments, but not purchases.


Purchased some fingerlings from the Maine Potato Lady this year. Good sound seed potatoes. Just dug the Bananas. Will dig the French tomorrow.


Nice big ones! Do you get many of the tiny ones?

I dug my RBs today, too about 8.5#


Thanks, Lois! I had about a half a bucket of the teensy ones, but of course I only wanted to show the most photogenic 'taters. :wink: Sounds like you had a good yield!


Maine Potato lady is awesome! Better quality seed potatoes vs. Potato Garden.


German Butterball was delicious, but tiny. Same bed gave me 2 lb Kennebecs, and my biggest GB were maybe 5 Oz. About the size of an apricot.


If I only planted 1#, I consider it a very good yield. But I think I recall planting 2#

I like the tiny ones, sauteed in butter, or roasted in oil with herbs


How much do y’all get off of one Russian Banana plant? I dug one plant today and it seemed like a small yield but I don’t know, may be the fingerlings produce less? They sure are tasty though. I roasted them and they were perfect with salt and a small amount of butter.


I got about 3/4 pound this time. I"d be really happy with a pound per vine.

The weight of the yield per plant is certainly less than with, say, Russets, but you can plant more fingerlings in a given space.