‘Smiling’ spuds on sale
Eyes Irish Gold potatoes introduced
A field of spuds sporting prominent bright pink and purple blossoms captured the interest of motorists travelling along Highway 2 through Woodstock last summer.
Now, those motorists can get their first taste of that new variety of potatoes being marketed by MacLean Farms Ltd.
They’re a yellow flesh variety with a splash of pink around the eyes.
“There’s one that’s kind of smiling,” says Johnny MacLean, patriarch of the West Devonbased farming operation, in selecting a potato from a bag. He notes some of the eyes on his Smilin’ Eyes Irish Gold potatoes appear to be smiling.
For MacLean, who took off his 40th potato crop in 2015, this extension to his operation is all about positioning it for the future, as he has two sons and a daughter actively involved in the running of the farm.
MacLean Farms grew around 100 acres of the new variety this year and the family is now eager to get them into customers’ hands, confident they will like the taste and the texture.
He said they are good baked, boiled and fried.
“The taste’s the big thing. The best potato I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve been eating potatoes for a long while,” MacLean said.
Pointing out there are 20 million people of Irish ancestry along the eastern seaboard, he hopes the name and the taste appeals to them.
“I’m only half-Irish,” he said, “but it’s a strong half.”
In addition to introducing the new variety, the farm operation is leasing the former OPP wash plant, which has been idle in O’Leary for the last five years. They are packing the new variety there and the warehouse is also available for custom washing of approved stock.