If potatoes had personalities, you might describe them as a patient lot. Forget to dig them in autumn and they might surprise you come spring with their belated bounty.
And so it was this weekend. Though the potato calendar may have pointed to planting – and recent Potato Days, such as those at the Organic Centre in Co. Leitrim and at Sonairte in Co. Meath, provided both the spur to sow and the seeds to sow with – it was harvesting that was the name of this Spud Sunday’s game.
A rather cheery looking spud welcomed visitors earlier this month to this year’s edition of Potato Day at Sonairte in Co. Meath, with all of the usual spud suspects in attendance
There were spuds from husbands, spuds from wives, spuds from fathers and spuds from sons. They came from the south of the county and the north, youngsters and old timers alike. Though the participants might (we were told) be better known for other activities, here, at the annual Spud Tasting in Jacksie’s Bar, they were potato growers first.
Announcing the big event
So, if you were looking for someone to go and talk spuds with a commercial potato grower, who would you ask?
It seems, what with the new potato season upon us, that the folks from Bord Bia were pondering that very question lately. The result of their ponderings was that they came knocking upon my door.
Soon afterward, I found myself in the middle of a potato field in North County Dublin having a most illuminating, spud-filled conversation. You can read all about it over on the Best in Season website, but I’m also including the full text here.
I am indebted to my interviewee Barry for his time and his candor. Enjoy.
Barry's field of Kerr's Pink potatoes