PotatOH and SavorSeal: The Best Way to Microwave Potatoes

SavorSeal and PotatOH Label Closeup
 

What makes a potato a PotatOH?

If you’ve ever picked up an Express Bake PotatOH in a store, you know that we use the highest quality potatoes, and they come double-washed for your convenience. Also, each PotatOH is wrapped in our SavorSeal™, a proprietary wrap we developed to lock in its flavor and nutrients.

But, we know that you may still have questions. That’s why we’re really excited to announce (drum roll please) that after a few weeks of hard work, we’ve just finished our new video about what makes PotatOHs better and different from other potato products.

 

A little back story

We’ve heard that sometimes, in a pinch, people microwave potatoes on a plate, in cloth bags, or use wet paper towels. We also know someone’s mom who “just uses plastic containers” and someone’s roommate who thinks a plastic zippy bag or plastic wrap “works just fine.”

Here’s the problem with that:

1)   You won’t get the same great taste and perfect texture as a PotatOH by using cloth bags or paper towels, or just microwaving a potato on a plate.
2)   Using plastic wraps and containers isn’t safe.

 

SavorSeal™: A real star

SavorSeal™ works by trapping in the PotatOH’s own moisture, so your spud steams while it’s cooking in the microwave. By the way – did you know that microwaving and steaming are the two best ways to retain the nutrients in food? Well, you do now! That makes your PotatOH soft all around, evenly cooked and ready to eat in just 4 to 7 minutes.

Also, unlike other wraps — which may leach harmful chemicals from the plastic — SavorSeal™ does not, and is BPA-free and certified safe by the FDA. In fact, it was created to protect foods while cooking in the microwave.

To learn more and to prove your mom, roommate or some other doubting Thomas wrong, check out our new video below. We’re very glad to have a great tool to help people understand what makes our products special. Hopefully, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and then you’ll get really really hungry for a PotatOH.

Let us know what you think!

 

Farm Fresh Direct at Colorado Spartan Race 2012

Farm Fresh Direct staff, friends and family ran the Spartan Race in Colorado Springs, CO this past weekend, an obstacle racing event benefitting soldiers returning from war. We had a blast and the entire team finished! Check out some photos from the race below.

 

Spartan Race 2012 Team Photo

Game faces on!

 

Warming up at Spartan Race 2012

Warming up...

 

We're off at Spartan Race 2012

We're off!

 

Spartan at Spartan Race 2012

It's not a Spartan Race without a Spartan!

 

Climbing rope at Spartan Race 2012

Climbing = No problem!

 

Waiting our turn at Spartan Race 2012

Waiting our turn...

 

Teamwork at Spartan Race 2012

Teamwork

 

Quick stretch at Spartan Race 2012

Quick stretch

 

Climbing at Spartan Race 2012

Climbing = No problem!

 

The end in sight at Spartan Race 2012

The end in sight...

 

No more white shirts at Spartan Race 2012

No longer wearing white shirts after going through that mud!

 

Almost finished at Spartan Race 2012

Almost finished!

 

Surge to the finish at Spartan Race 2012

Surge to the finish

 

Victory at Spartan Race 2012

Victory!

 

To see more photos, see the full Spartan Race 2012 album on the PotatOH Facebook page.

 

Get To Know Our Farms and The Potatoes That We Grow

We will soon give you updates each month on what’s going on at our farms. In the meantime, we’d like to show you around some parts of the Farm Fresh Direct site so you get to know our farms better, and learn about the potatoes that we grow.

 

Our Farms

Most of our farms are nestled in the gorgeous San Luis Valley in Colorado, a tract of land stretching 122 miles long and 70 miles wide, bordered by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and the stunning San Juans to the west. We’ve also expanded beyond Colorado, and are proud to have partner farms in Kansas, Nebraska and Nevada. Click through to see our featured farms: Summit, Price, Spud Grower, JDS and Esperanza Farms, and the Three S Ranch.

 

Our Crops

Farm Fresh potatoes start out on our beautiful farms, where they’re carefully tended by hardworking farmers and dedicated crews. And though growing potatoes is seriously hard work, we love to do it. Our “office” has some of the best views anywhere, and knowing our potatoes feed so many people makes us feel great about what we do. Click through to learn a little bit about what we do through each season: spring, summer, fall and winter.

 

Potato Varieties

Potatoes come in all shapes, sizes, colors and flavors, and each type has its own taste and texture. Real experts—like our farmers—can even see and taste the difference between two different varieties of russets. These special qualities make different types of potatoes better for certain dishes or styles of preparation. Click through to learn about the different types of potatoes we grow: russets, reds, yellows, fingerlings, purples/blues, whites and sweets.

 

Express Bake PotatOH

Making a PotatOH is an easy shortcut that delivers all the great taste of an oven-baked potato or your favorite potato dish. Pre-washed and ready to cook, each PotatOH is wrapped in our SavorSeal™, a special, microwave-safe and BPA-free wrap designed to protect foods and preserve their fresh taste when cooked in the microwave. Click through to learn more, and order russets, sweets and fingerlings right here on our site, saving you a trip to the grocery store.

 
 

How we grow our potatoes

Even just ten years ago, most people didn’t think all that much about how the food on our plates got there. Most of us just grabbed a fork and went to town. Times sure have changed, and we think for the better. If you’re reading this blog, you probably want to know more about how a potato is grown. And, although we’ve been working in the fields for many many summers, this is our moment in the sun. Here’s a quick low-down:

1. We use certified seed

Potatoes grow from other potatoes. That is, the part you eat is also the seed. So farmers use potatoes to grow more potatoes. Because potato plants are pretty susceptible, they’re grown from potatoes called certified seed—potatoes guaranteed to be disease-free. Usually, each “seed potato” is cut into smaller pieces and planted. But before we plant, we work on our soil a bit.

2. Preparing the fields

To get the best yield, we spend a lot of time in the early spring plowing the fields, amending the soil, and keeping eye on the temperature. We don’t want to plant if there is danger of a hard frost, which could kill all our seed. But, because potatoes take about 80-100 days to mature, we don’t want to wait too too long because the date of the first fall freeze is a bit of a gamble, too. So it’s kind of like Vegas, baby.

3. Growth Stages

Potatoes grow in 5 phases: (1) sprouts and roots emerge (2) leaves grow and begin photosynthesis (3) the plant flowers and makes new tubers (potatoes) (4) after the soil reaches about 80° F, the plant stops making new potatoes and concentrates on growing each potatoes bigger (at this critical stage, we monitor the temperature, moisture level and nutrient balance of the soil in our fields, all the time). (5) Finally, the green part of the plant dies back, the skin on the potatoes begins to thicken and it’s time to start digging.

4. Harvest

Most commercial potatoes are harvested by a special tractor called—you guessed it—a potato harvester. It has special prongs that scoop up the potatoes and some soil, too. Potatoes are moved along an apron chain conveyer belt up into the harvester, where workers separate out dirt, dried stocks, rocks and other debris. The potatoes move along the harvester, are collected in another big truck, and then driven to a storage facility. To get a better idea, watch this video.

5. Sort and Store

At the storage facility, workers again inspect and sort the crop as it is unloaded. Usually, we’ll store potatoes for a bit to help the skin on the outside to further thicken and better protect the potato. Potatoes should be stored in a dark, well-ventilated area at about 40° F.

6. Packing

After the potatoes have cured a bit, it’s time to ship them out. They’re pulled from storage and taken to a packing facility—sometimes this is done with water, sometimes it’s a job for a truck. Potato processing areas are like big “potato factories” with potatoes being conveyed up, down and all around where workers look over each potato, sort them by size and pack ‘em up. Once they’re boxed, bagged or wrapped, they’re shipped off to grocery stores where savvy buyers everywhere scoop them up and bring them home for dinner.

Growing potatoes is a full-time, year-round job. These are just the nuts and bolts. We hope you enjoyed learning about how we grow potatoes on our farms. If you have more questions, let us know.

Welcome to the new Farm Fresh Direct

Boy has it been busy around here. This time, it’s not about planting fields, building a bigger barn or tinkering with a tractor. Right now, we’re working on making a name for ourselves in cyberspace by launching our new website and blog. Not bad for a bunch of farmers, eh?

We’re excited to share what we know, how we live and how much we love what we do. Because we want you to understand where we’re coming from and why you should feel great about welcoming our potatoes at your table.

So, who is Farm Fresh Direct? We’re a partnership of multi-generational potato farmers, mostly living in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, but also in Kansas, Nebraska and Nevada, too. We banded together in 1999 to help each other grow and since then, we’ve done a lot of that.

Today, we’re one of the largest potato producers in the U.S., but growing hasn’t changed who we are. Each one of us is dedicated to providing fresh, healthy and delicious food for our families and yours, while serving as careful stewards of the land.

Watch the video to learn more about us. And then, tell us a little about yourself and what you love most about potatoes. We can’t wait to read what you have to say.