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Spud Sunday: The Why Of The Spud

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

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.

No, the real reason that I grow potatoes is for the singular pleasure of being able to present them to my parents. Now that my folks are at that late stage in life where the physical effort required in tending to spuds and much else out of doors is deemed too much, it’s the least that I can do, after a lifetime of being fed from their garden, to return the favour. And, frankly, I do not know for how many more summers I will have this privilege left to me.

For there is a very particular satisfaction in handing over freshly dug spuds to my Da. He who has never had much truck with rice or pasta. He for whom a dinner is not a dinner without spuds and lots of them. He who puts me in the ha’penny place when it comes to potato lore. In fact, my chief regret in having lost all three of my prized rare potato seeds to the slugs was that I was not able to provide my Da with some Champions, an older Irish variety of which he speaks with reverence.

Still, to make up for that, I will be more than happy to hand over to my folks a goodly haul of Duke of Yorks. These beauties bucked the low yield trend, producing potatoes of decent size and more than decent taste. They have even produced another heart-shaped mascot and it doesn’t get much better than that.

So today, I bring my heart-shaped bounty home. It is, as I say, the least I could do.

Heart-shaped potato

For the folks at home, with love...

Courgette, red onion and french beans from the garden

...and a few other items from the garden, because the folks cannot live on spuds alone


  1. jenn

    Nothing like some fresh spuds to bring home. Isn’t it great to have fresh produce from your own crop. It’s great that you share the wealth of your crops with your parents. I’m sure they appreciate the spuds as much as you do.

  2. OysterCulture

    Ah, I am sure your parents are very appreciative of all the gardening you do for them. I bet the potatoes taste even more delicious knowing all the effort you put into their development. Those spuds you have grown look spectacular, and I think the fact that one turned out heart shaped says it all.

    My parents do not have weak hearts, but if I showed up with just a sampling of what you’ve produced, I think they’d keel over in shock. I am in awe at your green thumb.

    Besides, it sounds like this year was some lessons learned, and come next year, the results will be even more spectacular!

  3. zerrin

    I’m sure you make your parents so happy by sharing the spuds you grow with them.
    And it’s so clear that spuds are aware of what you’re doing for them and how much you love them. That’s why they make surprises for you with their shapes.

  4. adel

    I wish I could grow my own vege, they look so fresh and good enough to bite in.

  5. Jenni

    You must be the best daughter ever! How cool that you keep your folks in spuds:) And the heart-shaped one is The Best.

    At Disney World in Orlando, FL, they make pumpkins and cucumbers grow in the shape of Mickey’s head–complete w/mouse ears. They lock the wee growing veggies in acrylic mouse head-and-ear shaped caskets and make them grow in there. Sometimes, those Disney people are just bad.

  6. Lori

    What a special post. I share those same feelings about my own parents as I’ve been fed the bounty of my Dad’s garden for years. I hope one day I can repay him the same way you are sharing your gratitude.

    I personally find you blog and love of potatoes quite refreshing. Potatoes seem to get unwarranted negative attention in the health world because of the carbs and people always eating them deep fried. I happen to love them and feel they have a lot going for them regarding nutrients. I’m glad to learn more about spuds and how to prepare them from your blog!

  7. Michelle

    Some of my favourite posts are when you chat about your parents. Such great folks and always very hospitable whenever I crash landed in their space, usually with your sis-in-residence in tow. Say hello from me.

  8. The Diva on a Diet

    Oh, Spud, I’m so touched by your words. What a lovely, lovely post. You made me smile. :)

  9. Chef E

    In true Irish fashion…you are witty, cute, and I love reading your stuff!

  10. Daily Spud

    jenn: ah, I believe that they do indeed appreciate it

    OysterCulture: I think that the extent of my green thumb has a lot to do with the fact that some plants need very little encouragement to grow, in spite of neglect and the general haphazard nature of my back garden!

    zerrin: it would be nice to think that my spuds love me as much as I love them, lol

    adel: if you ever get the chance to grow your own, I highly recommend it – it can be immensely satisfying

    Jenni: oh dear, mickey mouse shaped veg just sounds wrong…

    Lori: ah thank you – I’ve read about some of the garden goods that you get from your Dad and it’s bounteous indeed; as for spuds, they do get a bad rap in some quarters and that whole Atkins diet thing did their reputation no favours, but they really do hold their own in the nutrition department, as well as being very receptive to treatments that involve lots of oil or butter!

    Michelle: will do – I think, over the years, that they have had many people crash-land at their house and have generally seemed to cope pretty well with that

    Diva: always happy to do so :)

    Chef E: aw, shucks, thank you

  11. Phyllis (me HUNGRY!)

    This post managed to make me hungry and give me warm fuzzies at the same time :)
    And that heart shaped potato – amazing!

  12. Jamie

    Love the heart-shaped spud. Your parents must be so proud of you! Potatoes are indeed the salt of the earth.

  13. Tom

    You’re all heart Aoif

  14. Daily Spud

    Phyllis: it has to be said that it’s pretty cool as spuds go

    Jamie: thanks and I know that the folks are certainly pleased when I turn up with stuff like this :)

    Tom: I shall take heart from that!

  15. Tangled Noodle

    Their is no better reason to grow a garden than to share it with loved ones! Notwithstanding his favorite 7-Up drenched breakfast, your Da’s taste for spuds is one to be emulated by all. For all that your potato yields this year were marked by losses and less than stellar numbers, definitely take heart from the ‘heart!’

  16. Daily Spud

    Yes, Da may have some curious tastes in food but he’s right on the money as far as the spuds go. Will have to bring him another delivery today methinks – I can think of no better destination for my produce!

  17. SippitySup

    Yikes, I hope I did not say something that offended you. Sometimes I think I am funnier than I am . Sorry. GREG

  18. Daily Spud

    Ah no, Greg, nothing said to offend, you were just bemoaning the fact that you were agro-challenged in LA and, no doubt, jealous of my garden, which is understandable, of course :) Nothing to apologise for!

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