Wild Plants And Wooly Bears
Many years ago, a dear friend, now long gone, introduced me to a species of potato that he had brought here from Scotland in the first half of the 20th century. Although called Kerr’s reds, they are mostly purple. To my knowledge, nobody else in Maine grows or even knows of, these remarkable spuds.
Kerr’s have a somewhat mealy texture and a rich, sweet flavor. They are small, the biggest running a mite smaller than the average, Maine potato. Also, Kerr’s make the absolute best home-fried potatoes going. I absolutely love them.
Potatoes take quite a bit of garden space and I was never able to grow my Kerr’s in quantity. Sometimes, I’ll grow a few in a five-gallon pail, covering them with dirt as the vines spread. And on occasion, I’ll cover a handful with hay and grow them that way.
At any rate, I consider the ongoing care of Kerr’s reds something of a sacred trust. I am, in fact, the “keeper of the potatoes.”
These are, of course, an heirloom variety. If only for that fact, they should not be allowed to perish. I’m not even sure of Kerr’s status in their native Skye, Scotland. It seems to me that even there, they are a scarce commodity.
If anyone desires to assist me in my charge, I would be more than happy to give them a few seeds to begin their task.