Potatoes are the British staple and the ultimate comfort food; from delicious roasties to fluffy jackets, crispy chips and creamy mash. The potato is packed full of vital nutrients. The calories in potatoes are low, they're naturally fat-free and are bursting with vitamins and minerals and when served with their skins are a great source of fibre.
Jack Bucks Farms grows a number of different varieties:
- Maris Piper is the all rounder for roasts, chips and jackets.
- Marfona is the ultimate baking potato.
- Lanorma, Safari and Saphire are newer versions of Marfona with really crispy skins.
Preparations for planting the potato crop begin the previous year. The land is ploughed in the autumn to allow time for the winter frosts to break the clods down.
We grow our potatoes in rotation and do not come back to the same field for at least 7 years. This avoids the build up of soil pests. In April the soil is usually warm enough to begin planting. The land is cultivated to produce a fine seedbed, allowing the roots to grow freely. The seed potatoes are planted into ridges to give the roots plenty of room to grow and help prevent the potatoes from being exposed to light.
Over the summer the size and quality of the potatoes are regularly checked to make sure that they are harvested at just the right time. Usually by the end of September the skins will have formed and harvesting can begin.
The crop is harvested with a machine that lifts the potatoes out of the ground before separating them from the stalks and soil.
The potatoes are then loaded onto trailers before being taken back to the farm for grading into the different sizes and stored. We are very careful to avoid bruising the skins. Once graded they are stored in large boxes until they are sold. Potatoes can be stored until the following year if they are of good enough quality and the storage conditions are correct.
We sell our potatoes through Nene Potatoes who are a group of 35 like-minded potato growers who have pooled resources to market their own potatoes to supply supermarkets and wholesale markets. Link to www.nenepots.co.uk