The spuds grown by Jones Potatoes are considered some of the best in the country, savoured by chefs who appreciate not only the range of different varieties but the full flavour and great texture. Gordon and Lyn Jones farm the deep, rich red clay loam that covers their property at Warragul South, 110 kilometres east of Melbourne, in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges. Gordon’s family has been farming in the district since the late 19th century, originally growing potatoes and raising pigs and dairy cattle. Gordon’s father Alan started specialising in potatoes.
In 1982 Gordon and Lyn started their own business. They began specialising in niche varieties for niche markets. “We decided to scale down the operation of growing potatoes to sell to the market,” says Gordon. “We set out our minds on growing high value potatoes and marketing them ourselves.”
The Joneses started selling at farmers’ markets, which introduced them to new customers, many of whom were chefs. With growing demand from the hospitality sector, the Joneses teamed up with the Spud Sisters to help them with distribution.
The potatoes the Joneses grow are exceptional: well-formed and with unmarked skin. One popular variety is Royal Blue. This has a deep-purple skin and cream-coloured flesh. An all-rounder, it’s popular with chefs who use it to make gnocchi. The Joneses also grow an English variety called Maris Piper that makes exceptionally good French fries. Then there’s Andean Sunrise, a floury potato with bright yellow flesh that’s great for thickening soups and stews and perfect for Spanish tortillas; it also has the beneficial quality of having a low glycaemic index, or GI.
Products: gourmet potato varieties including Royal Blue, Maris Piper, Yukon Gold, Nicola, Wilwash, Pink Fir Apple, Andean Sunrise, Kipfler and Dutch Cream.