I have doubts on sprouts
But peas they please
And parsnips give me pleasure.
But of all the veg
I give this pledge
Potatoes are my treasure.
Extract from “King Spud” © 2010 Nick Balmforth
Mr. Balmforth, author of those lines, is clearly a man after my own heart – a heart that fairly swells with pride when my little potato treasures start to blossom, signalling to the world that new potatoes are not far behind.
The sign that says new spuds are a comin'
When it comes down to it, there is one reason above all others that fuels my desire to grow spuds.
Sure, the rewards of growing your own are many. In the rough and jumble of my own little back garden, I can cultivate varieties that I would rarely, if ever, find in the shops. That means that I get to eat tasty little Shetland Blacks like these, roasted in their skins, and you won’t find me complaining about that.
Ahh, Shetland Black Roasties
And there are many points scored for general got-it-from-my-own-garden satisfaction. In fact, I could be all smug and crow about the positive dearth of food miles involved in my recent dinners but, nah, I really don’t care to. Besides, I might be accused of yet more braggery by Greg and if there’s one reason that I grow spuds, that is most definitely not it.
Attn: All Spuds
c/o Central Vegetable Patch, Back Garden
Sorry spuds. Mea culpa. I thought I was doing you a favour but, in fact, I was giving you too much of a good thing. Nitrogen, I mean. An essential nutrient, yes, but too much of the stuff and you were all about the above-ground show of foliage, with nary a thought for the tuberage down below. No, you were not to blame for the low yields and I, for my part, will know better next time.