The Bodega Red Potato Club
Join a new club if you love potatoes!
In an effort to re-seed and restore our eponymous local, historical, endangered and delicious Bodega Red Potato to its former glory, the new Bodega Red Potato Club is being formed. The Bodega Red, of course, is one of Bodega’s many claims to fame, but it has all but met its demise. The reason for the decline of the Red is under speculation. An effort to bring back our potato was initiated by Slow Food of Sonoma County who contacted the Bodega Land Trust for leads to finding vestiges of the formerly widely cultivated potato. BLT canvassed its network of friends and did indeed unearth a handful of the red beauties - the donor of which requests anonymity.
Some of this precious handful was sent to potato experts in Washington State who verified their lofty status as one of a very few species of potatoes that entered North America directly from South America, on a ship perhaps, sewn into the skirts of the Peruvian bride of one of Bodega’s European founding fathers, Captain Stephen Smith. The potato samples were de-virused at great expense - in case the blight was the cause of the potato’s quick decline. A small amount of virus-free Bodega Reds is almost ready for distribution. A small amount of the perhaps less pristine, but at least surviving Bodega Reds has also been lovingly planted and lovingly hoarded away.
Bringing us to the goal of the Bodega Red Potato Club: To re-vitalize the Bodega Red Potato by distributing seed to yearning potato farmers; to learn from like-minded potato heads just how best to grow them; and to have fun in the process.
The Rancho Bodega Historical Society has stepped in with funding for the project and is taking the lead to uncover historical facts, myths, farmers and stories about our famous red. The Sea Squids 4H Club will host biannual potato parties for members: One in the spring for potato getting, and one in the fall for potato sharing.
Click here for the latest BRPC Newsletter!
Click here for a document about potato genetics.