In our previous post, we explored the unconventional yet delightful presence of Brussels sprouts in our Thanksgiving feast. Today, let’s journey back into the heart of tradition and shine a spotlight on the mighty potato.  As a timeless favorite on the Thanksgiving table, the potato brings comfort, versatility, and a touch of homegrown goodness to the holiday spread.

 

The Joy of Growing Potatoes:

Potatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow, harvest and store!  From planting the seed potatoes in May to watching the lush green foliage emerge, the journey to a September harvest is a rewarding experience. Home gardeners have the opportunity to choose from a variety of potato types, each offering distinct flavors and textures. My favorite way to grow potatoes is in a fabric grow bag.  Gardeners can also plant potatoes directly into the ground.  Check out our potato growing guide for containers here. We also have a guide for growing potatoes in the ground that can be found here.

 

Varieties of Potatoes for Thanksgiving:

Different potato varieties bring diverse qualities to your Thanksgiving table. Russet potatoes are excellent for mashed potatoes, while Yukon Golds offer a buttery flavor perfect for roasting. Huckleberry Gold potatoes, developed by Montana State University, are my favorite variety for making mashed potatoes as they have a naturally buttery flavor and are wonderful mashed. Potatoes grow very well in the Gallatin Valley.  In fact, there are approximately 10,000 acres of seed potatoes grown in Gallatin County. If you missed out on growing your own potatoes this year, you can stop by Green Thumb’s in April to purchase locally grown organic seed potatoes for your own garden!

 

Harvesting Potatoes for Thanksgiving:

Potatoes are typically ready for harvest when the tops of the plants begin to yellow and die back. This is generally in September and October.  Gently dig around the base of the plants to unearth your homegrown potatoes. After harvest, brush off as much soil as possible.  Place the potatoes in a cool, dark place until Thanksgiving!  

 

Thanksgiving Recipes Featuring Fresh Potatoes:

    • Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Boil your garden potatoes until tender, mash them with butter and cream, and season to taste. The result is a side dish that’s rich, velvety, and full of homegrown goodness.
    • Roasted Garlic Rosemary Potatoes: Toss diced potatoes with olive oil, minced garlic, and fresh rosemary before roasting until golden brown. This aromatic and flavorful dish is sure to become a Thanksgiving favorite.
    • Potato Gratin: Layer thinly sliced potatoes with cream, cheese, and herbs for a decadent potato gratin. Bake until bubbly and golden for a show-stopping side dish.

 

This Thanksgiving, elevate your celebration by incorporating homegrown potatoes into your feast. The journey from garden to table adds a layer of connection and appreciation for the food on your plate. Whether you’re savoring creamy mashed potatoes, indulging in roasted garlic rosemary potatoes, or enjoying a potato gratin, the freshness and flavor of homegrown spuds will undoubtedly enhance the spirit of gratitude around your Thanksgiving table.

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