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The Potatoheads

An interview with the owners of Oh! Tommy Boy’s Organic Farm near Petaluma, Calif., gives the dish on potatoes.

potato growers Tom and Heidi Kirkland, Petaluma, Calif.
Photo caption
True potatoheads Tom and Heidi Kirkland

Tom and Heidi Kirkland grow 30 varieties (and 90,000 pounds) of potatoes a year on their Oh! Tommy Boy's Organic Farm near Petaluma, Calif. Their spuds are available through the fall and winter at farmers' markets around Napa and Sonoma counties and at the farm's own stand. Information: (707) 876-1818.

Q Why grow potatoes?
A Tom's grandparents farmed them here starting in 1926, so we knew they'd grow. They're full of vitamin C and fat free—until you add bad things.

Q Where can we find your taters on the menu?
A Thomas Keller uses our Princess LaRattes in purees [at the French Laundry] because he likes their slight almond flavor. Randy Lewis from Seven-0-Seven [in Santa Rosa] complements a variety of fish dishes with the Rose Finn Apple.

Q Any overall best sellers?
A Candy Canes. They're the sweetest we grow, and they're great looking: pink outside and white with a pink swirl inside. We sell out each year.

Q How should spuds be stored?
A In a dark, dry, cool place. And don't wash them before storing. The loam on our potatoes is a natural sprout inhibitor.

Q What's your preference—baked, boiled, or fried?
A We like German Butterballs mashed and Rose Finn Apples roasted. Both types have so much flavor you hardly need to add a thing.

Photography by Alison Wright

This article was first published in September 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.