Two weeks ago, Jardin de Limagne started its campaign of Colomba potatoes, highly impacted by the current drought. “The high temperatures have affected the production and the volumes harvested. Our heavy clay soil requires a lot of water in order to harvest the potatoes. When too abrasive, the soil can damage the product. We also avoid harvesting when the potatoes are too warm and prefer to work in the morning, when the temperatures are cooler. In spite of these difficulties, the quality is good. But the rest of the season will depend on the weather conditions, on the amount of rain and the water restrictions imposed on farmers,” explains David Triffault of Jardin de Limagne.
Like many other fruit and vegetables this year, the campaign started earlier than expected. “The harvest came a couple of weeks earlier than in previous years, but it still took some time for the potato to develop its skin. The entire range of potatoes from the Auvergne region is now available. The Colomba potato is a variety which we have been developing for 4 years and it is doing great in our region. It is mostly used to make the French “aligot” dish or mashed potatoes, but it also makes excellent fries. We also offer the Chèrie, which is used in salads, sauteed or in a “raclette” dish. As for the Charlène variety, it is a firm flesh potato which is best consumed steamed, au gratin or in “truffade”.
The demand has been variable. “Last week, sales were very slow. With the heat and the holidays, tourists tend to prefer other products rather than potatoes. So it will all depend on how the weather conditions will evolve in the coming days.”