The Night of the Potatoes – lots of them

One of the “big four” harvests came in this week, the potatoes or at least the start of them. They have been ready for a couple of weeks but the weather has not, it has been quite wintery. This weekend through it’s been “as hot as stink” and a perfect time to firstly put out the onions from the other week to dry in the sun, and secondly to dig the potatoes. Something we always do in an evening and something Tom comes along to help out with. While he started digging the first row, I climbed into the fruit cage and picked gooseberries, blackcurrants and more redcurrants. After filling loads of pots full of currants, I climbed out and noticed Tom had only done the first row and I was really hoping to get the first two rows dug up. He then showed me the sack that he had been putting the potatoes in and I could see why he had stopped, anymore and we would not be able to carry the sack home.

I had wondered if all the lush tall green growth of the potato plants over the previous months, the masses of purple flowers, would mean that all the growth had been on top and not much under the ground. This was far from the truth that I could see, Tom had dug so many potatoes off of the first row. The first row was maris piper, a mixture of massive, medium, and the odd small potato. We didn’t have a great harvest last year, I think this first row will probably match all of last year.

We picked courgettes while we were there, they seem to re-appear each time you turn to look at something else, a bit like a stone angel. The rhubarb too we picked a whole load, only to look back at the plant and question just where had we been picking as there remained a massive amount still in the ground.

Apart from picking things, we did little else for now. Next time I will have to start with weeding. I did notice that after re-netting the sprout plants last week from their low tunnel to something a lot higher, the plants had recovered from being squashed up and we enjoying their new freedom by grown quite tall. The celeriac is not really growing, having been eaten a lot by slugs they are mostly now just sitting there. I hope with a lot of water they will jump into life at some point before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, at home, I made an awful lot of jam.

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