Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Garden Where The Praties Grow

Job done

Today was a good day and I started preparing for it yesterday when I persuaded Bert that he and I should begin our outdoor potato drills. He had many objections.

We haven't any seed.

We'll go and see Frank at Slemish Market Garden and buy some.

It's an awful lot of work for just the two of us.

And aren't we well able for it?

There was chat about leaving it to Monday but when the weather forecast was consulted I decided that it was Sunday or never.

We went to the Slemish Market Garden and were as impressed as always. I can't wait to sneak back another day and gather up some more perennials for my decorative garden. Not today though because we were in serious vegetable mode.

I had some misgivings myself at the start. It was a lot of work. But we got into it, not minding the dogs that were hanging around relaxing while we worked like dogs. There was rotavating, and dung spreading and dropping and earthing. Rachael turned up with an hour to spare and then there was a frenzy of dung spreading and spud dropping. Rachael works at a speed no ordinary mortal can compete with. After the potatoes she sowed beans in moments and then dashed off to pick up daughter from one place and husband another place.*

I've learned a lot from that girl. She believes in working hard and fast. From her example (and FlyLady) I have discovered that most dreary household tasks actually take tiny amounts of time to complete, compared to the amounts of time a person might put in atrophying in front of a computer screen. For example I have discovered that I can mop my scullery and hall in less than three minutes. Impressive? I certainly thought so.

So after around four hours we were able to look at what we had achieved and feel rather pleased with ourselves. Those potatoes are going to taste very good. The first ones ever in my life that will be seasoned with the memory-scent of well-rotted dung and fresh sweat.

As I said, it was a good day, one I was glad of. The day before was a good enough day too. I spent a good part of it with my mother. She had a big setback this week and is not the better of it yet, although she is better than she was at the start of the week. She has been in bed continuously all of last week, too weak to get up. Her urinary functions are not going well and she has a catheter fitted. She is rather confused but still knows who everyone is and knows what is going on. I'm afraid that she will not gain back the ground she has lost. But.... she is still Matty, she still gives her family, her carers and her visitors beautiful welcoming smiles and yesterday she put a bet on the Grand National and had fish and chips for her tea.

* the pub


Anonymous said...

I not only enjoyed your account of events, but I had a lovely tour of the Slemish Market Garden as well!

Spring has sprung over here as well and though I have only a tiny patch that's presumably safe from gophers and moles, I hope to have tomatoes and such for the summer. This morning, I succeeded in putting in a few herbs to get things started.

You also got me to read about peat, you know. I had no idea it is a stage of anthracite! I quite like it when I learn something new. So thank you!

Nelly said...

Thank you Anne. I'm glad you enjoyed your tour of Slemish Market Garden. If you ever get to visit it in real life, be prepared, Frank will keep you entertained with stories for a LONG time!

El Capitan said...

I don't know if you can grow 'taters in Texas. I've been tempted to get some of those upside down tomato planters before it gets too late in the year. The last time I tried planting them the usual way, the possums ate 'em all.

Nelly said...

I think you need a fair bit of moisture for spuds. That's why they go so well in Ireland. Thankfully we are not too bothered by possums. We have had rats this year but the cats are earning their keep in that respect. There is usually a couple a week which Judy the pup gets to play with. We're hoping she'll get a taste for killing them too.

Anonymous said...

Have never tried to grow taters, but as a kid we used to bury them in hot rocks to cook while we played. I don't know if it was the rocks - or the fact we took them out of the pantry on the sly - but to a 10 year old, they were the best tasting potatoes in the world!

Brighid said...

Getting by here...have the tomatoes, and other veggies in, as well as bunches of herbs. One of the grandsons and I are having a great pumpkin growing contest, which I have every intention of winning. I've grown potatoes here in Northern California, easy and delicious. Course if you lose a crop its easy to slip over the border to Oregon and raid...

Nelly said...

Anne, I'd agree with you that those fire-cooked potatoes are the best ever,

Brighid, is it true that there is some sort of legislation in the USA that is dictating about home-grown crops or is it just some internet craziness going around?

Brighid said...

I'm not sure what you are referring to with the crops...could you give me a few more clues.