The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Spud Sunday: Spud In Bloom

While Bloom in the Park may have been the big event of weekend, in truth it was a different kind of bloom that turned my head this week: that eagerly anticipated first potato blossom of the season.

Of the ten or so varieties of spud that are currently bursting forth from assorted bags in my backyard, it is the Epicures – a first early variety popularly grown in Ayrshire in Scotland – that are way ahead on the flowering front. And that, my friends, means that (yay!) it won’t be long before I get to sample the new potatoes underneath.

Potato blossom

First of the year, my epicure spuds in bloom

Meanwhile, distracted though I may have been by my potato flowers, I did, of course, go along to see what this year’s Bloom in the Park had to offer.

As an event, it’s getting bigger and better every year, and gloriously sunny weather is never any harm for a festival which has show gardens as its centrepiece. It was lovely to see a dedicated food village this time ’round, which brought together the artisan food market, craft beers and whiskeys, best in season area, chef’s theatre and displays promoting some of the best of our locally grown and produced foods.

There was one stand in particular which caught my attention, though, and that was the one sporting the title potato.ie. The name suggested an Irish-based and potato-centric website address – a bit like my own, really – so how come I had not heard of it before?

Potatoes at Bloom

Promoting Irish potatoes at Bloom

A chat with Liam Glennon who was manning the stand quickly cleared things up: I hadn’t heard of the site mainly because it wasn’t live until today. It’s a new, dedicated promotional website for the potato in Ireland, a joint initiative by Bord Bia and the Irish Potato Federation. They want to remind people of just what a tasty, nutritious and economical package the potato can be, and you won’t find me arguing with that.

Suffice to say I shall be watching the potato.ie space with interest over the coming weeks and months. For now, though, I’ll leave you with some of the other sights at this year’s Bloom.

Vegetables at Bloom

Yes, there were other vegetables at Bloom besides potatoes

Edible Ireland

In fact, there was a whole country's worth, with GIY's edible map of Ireland

Apple tree

There was fruit too, including apple trees, which have been grown here for about 3000 years
- though not this particular tree, you understand

Gardens at Bloom

...and glorious gardens, of course

Obama bread

The food included bread fit for a president, no less

Howling gale ale

...and to cap it all off, I had some new-to-me beer, the full-flavoured Howling Gale Ale from 8 Degrees Brewing, one of the new craft brewers on the block, and one to look out for

5 Comments

  1. Congrats on those blooms! How exciting! I’m halfway through An Edible History of Humanity and just finished a chapter on the history of the potato in Ireland. Couldn’t help but think of your blog. Looks like a fun event. Now I’m wondering if I can get my hands on some of that craft brew in July!

  2. Daily Spud

    Sunday, June 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Hey Lori, it’s always exciting when the first potato flowers open up! As for the Howling Gale Ale, it’s very new to the market and, at the moment, it’s just available at festivals like this one, but I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on its progress.

  3. How did I miss the Obama bread? Drat.

  4. I am always so thrilled when this time of year rolls around and you break out in buds. I am happy to say this is my third potato bloom we’ve shared together here! GREG

  5. Daily Spud

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Kristin: Ah well, there was a lot to take in at Bloom – easy to miss a presidential loaf or two amongst the array of food!

    Greg: …and I always get a kick out of how thrilled you are at my new potato blossoms – here’s to sharing many more years of spudly blooms :)

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