Thursday, October 30, 2008
"after i had been doing this for awhile, the potatoes just seemed to find me" Garrett Pittinger
**photo Julian Hasford**
i had the privilege of meeting garrett pittenger. for a seed nerd like me, this is a big deal. he is a founding and integral seeds of diversity member. he lives on a beautiful piece of property and grows over thirty types of heirloom potatoes with great dedication. i was lucky enough to visit him, get a tour of his property, and talk seed saving (and life) over tea.
when we entered his root cellar, we were greeted by highly organized boxes of potatoes, everywhere. different types ranging in colour from yellow, to pink, to blue and in every size imaginable were all gorgeous and chilling at a temperature of 42 degrees Fahrenheit.
each box was labelled with a stake, but garrett hardly needed them. you could tell he was intimately familiar with each potato. he identified each variety, while sharing stories of their colouring, history, taste, where he originally obtained them.
we soaked up the information and knowledge garrett was kindly sharing with us. he has been doing this for over forty years, and as he described so eloquently:
"after i had been doing this for awhile, the potatoes just seemed to find me".
smart potatoes, if i was a rare heirloom variety of a potato, i would certainly want to be in garrett's custody . ..
*this trip wouldn't have been possible without the organization of dagmar baur (another dedicated SoDC member), and barb (an avid and interested gardener who was nice enough to drive us!)
**sadly my camera was malfunctioning that day, so i don't have pictures of the experience. i have included some of the pics from the Toronto Urban Farm Festival, where gardeners were reaping the harvest of some of Garrett's potatoes. Thanks to Julian Hasford for use of his pictures.