Reasons to be grateful: fresh new potatoes from the garden

Earlier this year I stumbled across a YouTube channel called Erica’s little Welsh garden which I like to dip in and out of on a semi consistent basis. My own attempts a gardening tend to be sporadic and poorly planned, but I have also gained great pleasure over the last few years as I have learned to grow a little bit of food. On her channel around Christmas time she spoke about having bought a bag of potatoes from bargain shelf at the local shop, and was planning to see how many potatoes she could grow in pots. At the end of the video she set a challenge for other people to join in, which became known as the #potatogrowingchallenge2021.

I didn’t exactly go out and buy a bag of potatoes, but as we accumulated a number of potatoes that were ‘on the turn’ in our potato basket I thought I would have a go myself. We had a number of large pots left over from our attempts the previous year to grow other things, and some peat free compost so popped a couple of potatoes in each pot with a generous amount of compost, and then put them outside. This was around February time, and the start of a long wait.

To my surprise they grew really well, despite being nobbled by some late frosts in April and May. My son and I finally turned out the pots a couple of weeks ago. I was delighted with the number of decent sized potatoes we got from this little experiment, and my son was delighted with running round the garden with handfuls of muddy potatoes and other beasties he found during the process. The final weigh in was 4 kilos of potatoes, which is pretty good for an experiment that didn’t cost us very much.

We have been eating boiled new potatoes with butter and sage from the garden this week as a family, and I am grateful to have been able to give this experiment at try.

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Courgette update: time and benign negligence 

The courgette keeps on growing with very little attention for me. We have had rain and sun this week and all I’ve needed to do is top up the moisture levels with a few watering cans of water now and again. We actually have six of these ladies busily gaining size and volume. If we are lucky and all of these plants go on to fruit we’ll be facing a bit of a glut later in the summer. This suits me well as my boyfriend is particularly skilled in making courgette chutney, this is something to look forwards too.

We’ve also got lucky with a few little tomato plants, which have self seeded themselves from plants we had last year. Luckily I am too lazy to do any serious weeding and so we now have four little tomato plants with very little investment in effort from my end. I have watched these little guys, day by day, sprout up first with curiosity and then with admiration as these tiny plants continue to grow and establish themselves. 

For various reasons I have been thinking a lot about patience, and about how sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing. A little careful watching and waiting can sometimes be more effective than knee jerk active responses in taking you to where you want to be, or even to somewhere you didn’t know you wanted to be, but are very pleased to arrive. In the last few weeks patience, or benign negligence, has filled my little garden with an abundance of natures blessings. 

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