F2F Meet the Grower: Jerry & Andy
Jerry Tominaga first discovered fingerling potatoes 20 years ago at a food show. A third-generation potato farmer, Jerry recognized the opportunity to grow fingerlings just as they were taking off and being featured on menus and in cooking shows by notable chefs. Today, his operation dedicates 750 acres to fingerlings, which are an early season variety with thin, delicate skin that requires special harvesting equipment. Jerry continues to expand his fingerling acreage to keep up with demand.
“Our products are pure, natural and handpicked, ensuring only the very best crops make their way to your table,” says Jerry. “Our growing techniques offer delicious, earthy flavors. The heirloom shapes and textures make for fun, unique preparations and colorful dishes.”
Fingerlings have become a consumer favorite for their ease of preparation and deliciousness. Jerry loves them halved, seasoned and grilled or simmered whole in a flavorful curry.
Andy Diercks works alongside his father on a family farm that includes 850 acres of potatoes. For three seasons, Andy’s family farm has grown petite potatoes on one third of their acreage. Petite potatoes are a big business now due to high demand from both foodservice operators and retailers. That’s why they continue to expand their petite potato growth operation.
“Petites are flavor bombs thanks to their skin to flesh ratio,” says Andy. “They are so versatile and easy to prepare. No peeling or cutting required!”
The popularity of petites is largely due to their size and buttery texture. It’s important for Andy and his team to harvest them at the right time for optimal size and appearance. Growing petites has been a positive experience for Andy’s family farm. His favorite way to enjoy petites is tossed whole with peppers and onions in aluminum foil and grilled to perfection.