Oct 5, 2014 1:47:05 GMT -8 fryman said: I can not find a source in the states for Sarpa Mira. :-( What is up with that?
Tom said before that he has lines descended from it, possibly has the variety itself too. Tom is perhaps the only person in the US with Sarpo MIra. As far as I know, I'm the only person in the UK with pure Vitis riparia / riverbank grape (not rootstocks based on it).
Could perhaps ask him. Tom - I'm guessing you got seeds from Wales and grew the offspring?
There are some people with it in the U.S. It must have gone through the quarantine procedure at least once to get to the Kenosha Potato Project and Tom Wagner, but I have not seen any seed potato companies selling it yet.
I actually have it, but do not have enough to share to more than a few people this year.
When I read that Sarpo Mira was 'the product of many years of Soviet-style long-term breeding', I just knew that this was going to be an ugly looking fella.
Its leathery, scaly skin won't win it any beauty contests but this Hungarian variety produced consistently large tubers, each about 1lb. On the down side some suffered from internal hollow heart - I'm told that's where tissue doesn't form because the take up of calcium is poor.
Flesh colour is cream yellow so the mash looks as if you've added a lot of butter even if you haven't. Very starchy when boiled expect an earthy flavour and that's what you get but it's not overpowering.
If you are looking for large tubers (I'm sure it would make a good baker too) and have a lot of mouths to feed then this may be the one for you.
Sarpo Potatoes This year we grew some Sarpo potatoes for the first time. Sarpo varieties are supposed to be blight resistent and in our experience this seems to be true. Our other potato varieties suffered badly from blight this year, but the Sarpos which were growing next to the blighted potatoes looked a lot healthier. They had a small amount of blight but nothing too serious.
Potato varieties vary in their susceptibility to blight. Most early varieties are very vulnerable; so that the crop matures before blight starts (usually in July) plant them early. Many old crop varieties, such as King Edward potato are also very susceptible but are grown because they are wanted commercially. Maincrop varieties which are very slow to develop blight include Cara, Stirling, Teena, Torridon, Remarka and Romano. Some so-called resistant varieties can resist some strains of the blight and not others, so their performance may vary depending on which are around. These crops tend to have had polygenic resistance bred into them, and are known as field resistant. New varieties such as Sarpo Mira and Sarpo Axona show great resistance to blight even in areas of heavy infestation. These varieties are likely to gain great popularity as consumers increasingly embrace organically produced crops and reject food items that have been grown using fungicides and other chemicals.
The varieties we grew are Sarpo Mira and Sarpo Axona. We have not tried the Axonas yet but we had some mashed potato made with Sarpo Mira yesterday and they were good. They were a bit floury and were starting to break up in the boiling water so we will try roasting them next time.
Post by Tom Wagner on Jun 22, 2015 12:04:25 GMT -8
You would think there could be some licensing agreements between Dr, David Shaw of Sarpo and the United States but that shows the lethargy to get even well established varieties to the United States. Many private people want the variety to compare late blight resistance but that is not in the best interest of the business transactions. I cannot be a part of distribution of protected clonal varieties as I am in the TPS business only.
I've got it growing. Plants are very different looking compared to the other taters. Planing to cross it to Maris piper and Estima. Can send people seeds from those crosses if anyone wants. Not sure if selfed seeds are protected or not but could send those too. Estima plants have one flower so far whilst sarpo Mira and maris piper look like they'll have loads pretty soon.
The USDA-Grin research station finally was able list SARPO MIRA late this spring in their accessions list, and make it available to breeders and research programs in the US. That may be the first step in seeing it commercially available, but my guess would be it would be a few years at best.
Interestingly, it is not as blight resistant with some US strains. I have heard reviews from several growers in the pacific northwest that report it is not stellar.
I find it bland tasting, but a high yielding potato. It and all the other Sarpo descended potatoes I have grown appear to be Colorado Potato Beetle magnets. I have yet to get TPS from it.
Having moved I've had to suspend most of my breeding efforts.
•My grape breeding days seem to be over due to space constraints and I'm not getting any seeds in the dreadfully wet year as the grapes on the vines I have left are just rotting. Might have to give up this one for now.
•Haskaps on hold till get more varieties next year.
•Interested in dipping into hybrid Alpine-Garden strawberries (Fragaria x vescana) and back crossing garden strawberries to Fragaria Virginians but not started anything.
•May experiment with Pepinos indoors
And as for taters, they're one of the few active efforts I've still got going with my crosses of Maris piper and Sarpo mira and selfs of Sarpo Mira. My taters never let me down, maybe I should concentrate on them and other annuals, might be too overstretched at the moment.