Dr. Richard Tarn worked at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick for 40 years and is largely responsibile or the diversity within Canada’s potatoes that make them world class.
Potatoes originated in the Andes Mountains of South Africa some 8000 years ago, and Dr Tarn set out in the 60s to quite literally examine the roots of the indigenous potatoes. By introducing these traits to Canadian varieties, Tarn and colleague Dr Henry Dejong were able to increase the genetic diversity, thereby improving not only potato quality but adaptability- a trait especially important in the face of climate change.
He released the Tarnick potato in 2010, just before his retirement. It is a medium-yielding variety with mid- to late- maturity, good storage capability and high specific gravity. Their round, smooth shape and white flesh have resulted in Tarnick’s main use being for potato chips. They are also great for boiling and baking.
Photo Courtesy of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.