Where do potato seeds come from

Potato collection

Over 170 varieties of potatoes are preserved

The focus of the collection is on Austria as well as Central and Eastern Europe; some special rarities from all over the world are also among them.

Origins and varieties

Variety of varieties - variety of origins

Quite a few varieties have entered the ARCHE NOAH archive through association members. They were either brought back from somewhere as an interesting variety or they had been propagated as a regional variety for many years. ARCHE NOAH named such archive access after the place or the keeper - for example the "Blaue Lehner" (from the Lehner family since 1994) or the "Blaue Zillertaler" (from a garden in the Zillertal).

We sift through these unknown varieties, determine their properties and document the results.

The challenge - the annual cultivation!

On the field

Since potato varieties can only be preserved vegetatively via the tubers - that is, part of the mother plant - they have to be grown every year. This means that 15–20 tubers of each variety are planted in our conservation fields every year.

In view of the large number of varieties, this requires a lot of manual work and great care so as not to lose or mix up varieties. Multiple hoeing and field scoring, i.e. observing and documenting the varieties for growth characteristics and susceptibility to disease, require a lot of time.

In the basement

In the autumn after the harvest, the many sacks of potatoes are stored in the cellar. This is where the next important step in the maintenance work begins. Each variety is weighed. The tubers are checked for size, shape, skin texture and color. The health of the tuber is also assessed. Only the most beautiful and healthiest of each variety are allowed to return to the ground next year.

We need a lot of hands!

You can actively support us during the member active days. Details here ...

And where can you get rare seed potatoes?

The ARCHE NOAH provides planting material (seed potatoes) of some selected varieties to house gardeners, as well as surpluses from conservation work - the latter only in small quantities.

Every year you get potato rarities from the ARCHE NOAH collection in the variety handbook.

In addition, some maintainers from the ARCHE NOAH network also offer rare potato varieties via the variety handbook.