Potatoes in our parlour

This week I bought the seed potatoes that I will be planting out in our veg garden later in the season, once the soil warms up.  In the meantime they need to chit (grow small shoots) and as it is still pretty cold at night in the polytunnel the best place to do this is inside.  Last year I put them in our loft room, didn't really watch them (why should I?) and only when I came to plant them did I realise the flipping mice had stolen all of one variety.  Now why mice are partial to Charlotte potatoes is a mystery to me but it's nice to know I had well fed mice last year - NOT?! This year I am taking a more precautionary approach and chitting them in full view in the parlour (living room) ... although this runs a slight risk of Henry, our ancient cat thinking they are a litter tray.  Along with the potatoes I have a chilli plant I have overwintered, my two citrus plants and a birthday geranium so it looks a lot like a conservatoryin there.

Seed potatoes sprouting at Eco-Gites of Lenault Normandy

Choosing which potato varieties to grow over here in France has always been a bit of a challenge as there are only a handful that I recognise from the UK and I Have not found any French varieties we really like and crop well.  I had, until last year, completely struggled to find an early "new" potato that we liked but then a friend mentioned the somewhat oddly named BF15.  I had great success with this one so have bought even more in the hope for even greater yields this year.  Some I hope to start in the polytunnel very soon and the rest will go in the garden.  Book a holiday here at the right time and you might be able to buy new potatoes from us, fresh out of the ground with zero food miles either. 

For a second early potato I am growing Charlotte (mice willing) and for a maincrop, Desirée - both poatoes I grew in the UK.  Usually I also grow some Kestrel and some King Edwards which I have to get in the UK but as Simon is not going over at the moment, unless I can find some-else who is, I'll have to give these a miss this year.  Boo hoo - King Edwards make the best roast potatoes and I always get a good crop of Kestrel.  Are you a potato grower?  If so what varieties do you like?

In other news, the snow has all gone and the crocuses I planted in front of the gite are now in flower ...

Crocuses at Eco-Gites of Lenault, Normandy France