Wednesday 24 July 2013

Small Potatoes

Well, I'll be scaling back the plans for self sufficiency, to be sure. That's it! Four potatoes from one plant. That's exactly half of Farmer Jason's potato harvest 2013. But picked fresh from the ground, gently scrubbed clean, barely boiled and rolled in Lescure butter and Maldon sea salt... were they delicious? No. They were bloody awful; very floury.

However, all is not lost (yet). Take a look at the rest of the raised bed. 

It does look messy. I can't pretend this is what I wanted. But then, I am very much the neglectful grower; hoping that if I leave it, it will grow... and grow beautifully. That turned out to be bollox. Didn't notice any pests though. I expect they're all underground, getting it all nice and homely.

The weather, of course, has been bizarre this year. We seemed to bypass spring completely, then a largely grey May and June was followed by heatwave July. It's been 32°C here in Palmers Green. Maybe this is bad weather for potatoes? During the non-spring, at least one fox gained access and dug at the roots for some reason, so I lost at least one plant; can't remember what it was. My peas shrivelled and died. I mean, they didn't even try.

However, the tomatoes are there, still green and the courgettes are flowering. But, best of all, success with strawberries. I put in at least six varieties to see a. which would be most fecund(!) and b. to ensure a longer fruiting season (that's what the man with the flat cap and the gillet in the shop said). They are fruiting and the fruit is sweet. The wild strawberries in particular are wonderful. Although tiny and clustered with seed, they taste almost perfumed.

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