I've just acquired a few tubers of another old black spud called Negresse (yes I know, the name makes me cringe as much as anyone!). It's a 19th-Century French variety; the name should come adorned with accents, only I've no idea how to add them. It may well be another strain of the same variety. I'm going to grow both and see how they compare. If they survive the blight long enough to do anything that is, since they're extremely late maincrops. Many thanks to Ian for the parcel.
Supposedly, Vitelotte originated as an import from Peru. If so, then it's quite possible that there may be some genetic stability in it, or that several slightly different versions were brought over. It would be interesting to try hand-pollinating flowers, and see what grows from the seed.
Another parcel which arrived this morning, from Grunt, in Canada, contained Kent Blue Peas, the variety which launched my search for rarities, Carruthers' Purple Podded, supposed to be particularly tasty, and Ezethas Krombek Blauwshok. Kent Blue seeds are small, slightly dimpled, and adorned with purple speckles, which appear again on Carruthers, but not to the same extent. Krombek is a farm in Western Cape, South Africa, so was the variety bred, or preserved there, I wonder?
Meanwhile I'm planting peas like mad, but I've got the worst cold I've had in years, and that's about all I'm managing to do.
The denarii of AD 268
1 week ago