Spudman February 2023 - 28

Answering
the call
Pennsylvania grower takes aim at organic potato market
By Gary Pullano
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
O
riGin Farm is primarily a certified
organic dairy business, but the
operation has answered the call
to supply organic potatoes by meeting
the challenge head on.
Orin Moyer has owned the 400acre
Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania-based
location with his wife, Ginger, for about
14 years. At the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Fruit
& Vegetable Convention in Hershey,
Moyer shared his experiences regarding
the organic portion of the business for
the past seven years.
" Growing organic potatoes is fun and
exciting, " Moyer said. " It will be both a
challenge and a reward. "
Sterman Masser Potato Farms in
Berks County, with whom OriGin does
business, " were pushing to get locally
grown organic potatoes. We had been
growing them organically for about
seven years. "
A first step for OriGin was to delve
into seed selection and curing.
" We found that for organic
marketing, we don't have a lot of
market for white potatoes, " Moyer
said. " Typically, we have better luck
with yellow-flesh potatoes, red-skins
or off varieties. We don't do a lot with
plain whites. " He listed Lehigh, Dark
Red Norland, Kennebec, Adirondack
28
Spudman * February 2023
Orin Moyer owns OriGin Farm, a Pennsylvania-based dairy and organic potato farm
he operates with his wife, Ginger. Photos: OriGin Farm.
Blue, Blackberry, russets and Satina as
varieties he has tried.
When selecting varieties, growers
should talk to whom the product is being
sold, and make sure there is an active
market for that selection. " If you don't,
especially in an organic setting, you could
end up with a whole lot of potatoes and
you're without a buyer, " he said.
" The varieties we have grown, most of
them have been good for us. Lehigh is
definitely a variety that we like to grow.
They are yellow-fleshed skin and market
well for us, typically.
" For dark reds, we have had some
issues with skin coloring. One issue
we've had, I'm not sure if it was soilrelated,
or other issues, we have had

Spudman February 2023

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