It was a big weekend for me and my seed potatoes.
The spuds made significant progress on their journey to the dinner table by moving a few short, but nevertheless significant, steps from the shed to the new vegetable patch across the way.
For the vegetable patch, it was a grand unveiling of sorts. What had been a square of lawn had been manured and then covered for almost a year, giving the worms space to do the hard ground preparation work. All I needed to do was dig some drills, line them with manure and then relocate the spuds to their new home. No big drama. Or, at least, so one would have thought.
Off I went to the shed, where the seeds had been sprouting for some weeks now. In amongst the trays of sprouting tubers, I looked for the one that contained my three special rare and unusual specimens, which were to be given pride of planting place. They had been here, right at the edge of the bench but, could it be…? I caught my breath. They. Were. Gone. Noooooooooooooooo!
My first thought was obviously that I had been the subject of a daring heist by some mystery potato thief. Right at that very moment, my trio of rarities was probably being sold for megabucks to some shady international potato dealer. I was starting to wonder who would play me in the movie (Nicole Kidman, perhaps?) when I realised that there might just be another explanation.
I looked down and, lo, there was one and now two of my beauties. Over there, the egg carton that they had been sitting in prior to whatever assault it was that had landed them on the floor. Where was number three, though? I was about to be very upset (would Nicole be able to carry it off, I wondered?). I checked the other containers on the workbench and, yes, here was an interloper in the tray of Shetland Blacks. My trinity of tubers was restored. The only remaining problem was how to tell which was which, as the variety names had only been marked on the tray. Still, that was a problem for another day. The drama was over, the planting could proceed.
After the main planting event, I was wrapping up my weekend’s gardening with a little tidying in the old potato patch when what, to my surprise, did I find but a couple of stray tubers from last years crop of Sharpe’s Express. I took them in, scrubbed them, steamed them, took a moment to crown them with Kerrygold and some dill, snapped a picture for your benefit and promptly scoffed them. The winter spent in the ground didn’t appear to have done them any harm. In fact, they were the best potatoes I’ve eaten since, oh, sometime last summer. A lovely taster for what should be coming my way from the garden in around 10 weeks time. I can’t wait!