It’s a sweltering August bank holiday weekend, and I am pottering in the garden. Really, I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s too hot, and I’m trying to keep busy while saving energy for tomorrow’s Severn Bridge 10k.
I decide to harvest (being always optimistic) the black bin bag of potatoes.
Back in May we had a few potatoes that had started to shoot. Not seed potatoes, just regular tatties for cooking. On an impulse, (not having space for a vegetable patch) I planted them in a black bin bag, in potting compost. As the potato plants started to grow, we added more compost. Eventually the bag was full, with large potato plants flopping out of the top.
I didn’t have high expectations of success.
Today, I noticed that the leaves on the potato sack had all died back. I dragged the sack over to the flower bed, where I could spread the compost. And I dug my hands into the moist compost. A few woodlice wriggled out. I scraped compost away, and was as excited as a six year old on Christmas morning to reveal my first potato. I kept digging, and found more treasures nestled in the compost.
There is something magical about uncovering potatoes in the earth (or black bag of compost). A gift from the natural world.
My harvest filled one small jug, and weighed 600g. Enough for one family dinner. Not enough to justify the big bag of compost (which has now been repurposed in my new flower bed), or the gallons or water. But this has inspired us to think bigger and make plans for next year.