The Idiot Gardener

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building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

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vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

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One potato, two potato, three potato, four!

Potatoes; who would have them? I would, actually. There is something about the spud that brings joy to the world. It is a cure for all ills, a panacea, if you like. Imagine a life without freshly fried chips, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, glistening with sour vinegar and crystals of sea salt. Look at your husband/wife/lover/sibling and imagine a life without their tender body next to yours. Now, imagine a life without warm buttery creamy mash, dotted with chives. Given the choice, a fair few of us would embrace solitude with the spud before giving a thought about the so-called loved ones.

Potatoes.

Imagine the scene.
Judge: “Joan of Arc, you will be burned at the stake until you are dead.”
Joan of Arc: “Can I put zeese spuds in foil in ze ashes?”
Judge: “Of course you can, sweetheart, because you’ll be dead and we can have them with a knob of butter and some piping hot baked beans!”

POTATOES!

The spud has power. Go on, take your clothes off and run up and down the road. No one will care. Now do it again, shouting “Potatoes” at the top of your voice. That’s right, the curtains are twitching, the neighbours are emerging from their hovels; you’ve drawn a crowd. Your naughty bits didn’t lure them out, but the sound of the word “potato” will bring them out in droves.

POTATOES!

Last Friday, a few thousand years ago, they nailed the baby Jesus to a tree. I don’t know why, I really don’t! I do know this though; it’s a tradition to plant the spud on Good Friday, and I did. Because of my retarded planning, I had nowhere to bury them, so I went for spud sacks from Gardman (yes, the same Gardman that make pellets which don’t go mouldy, unlike the crappy inferior garbage Jiffy 7s sold by the arrogant and hostile Jiffy Group – Jeremy Howarth, Jiffy Group UK sales manager, you should be ashamed of yourself).

So now, outside my office door, I have the Potato Valley. It feels good, like I knew it would. I have Arran Pilots, Pink Fir Apple and Sante. That’s it, really. Now I just have to wait.

POTATOES!

Get the chip pan on!

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22 thoughts on “One potato, two potato, three potato, four!

  1. Dene Wood

    I got Aran Pilots and Sante too IG, we shall have to compare crop yeild at the end of the season as mine are in the ground, the comparison will be interesting.

    Reply
  2. Brandi Mills

    I accidentally grew potatoes one year. Threw some leftover, soft spuds into the compost bin and a few weeks later, my compost bin looked like potato central.

    Reply
  3. Edith Hope

    Dear IG, There are Potagers, there are Kitchen Gardens, there are Vegetable Plots, there are Allotments, but now, clearly, there is a new way: Bin Bags in a back yard. That they are green does not make them more aesthetic, that they are lined up does not make it more formal, but that they are in YOUR back yard explains it all. Still there are Pommes Dauphinoises, and there are chips!

    Reply
  4. Mal's Allotment

    “Get the chip pan on!”

    ????

    Can I retract my last comment?

    Two out of the three potato varieties you are growing are not suitable for chipping. They are not high enough in dry matter.
    Arran Pilot – All early potatoes are most suitable for boiling. PFA – are a peculiarity being a maincrop most suitable for boiling. Sante might do, being described as good for mashing and roasting. A good all round potato preferred by organic growers due to disease and pest resistance.

    (Maris Piper hve earned a reputation as the best chipping potato)

    Don’t take my word for it:

    http://www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/potato/potato-flavour-type.php

    Good luck

    Mal

    Reply
  5. Is the Wiz

    I could live on potato salad (made with a boiled egg) no problem. In fact, I may have to go and plant some fir-apples myself now, or you may find a small Scottish gardener scrumping your spuds!

    Reply
  6. walk2write

    If you want potatoes here, you have to get them in the ground by Valentine’s Day. This year, the weather was too cold to plant or run naked. The neighbors would have laughed their heads off to see me do either one in February. To be honest, I think my efforts at gardening are way more entertaining anyway. The guy next door just chuckled in response to my offer from our bounty of collard greens. I think he gets a kick out of watching me bust my arse with this God-forsaken soil. What are you using as growing material in those tater bins? Just soil, straw, or both?

    Reply
  7. Kara

    Potatoes!!!

    MMmmmmmmm, can’t live without potatoes. Boiled, baked, mashed, fried. *drool*

    Some people think you are growing a lot. I don’t think you’re growing enough. hehe Even my dog loves potatoes. She will WOOF at me if I don’t give her a chunk while I’m peeling. If I still don’t give in, a long line of drool appears.

    Wonder when I should plant mine? Probably some time soon, but must chit them first. I have all heirloom varieties ranging from Cain’s Irish Rock, German Butterball, to Siberian. And some nifty (supposedly from Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada) fingerling/banana shape variety that I just can’t seem to remember the name. They make the best homemade fries though. Wash, don’t peel and cut into quarters. Oh I forgot…you Brits call them “chips.”

    Reply
  8. Meredith

    How exciting, IG! I, too, am using grow bags this year as an experiment, but I have, er, three of them. I didn’t want to try too many in case they turn out to be a waste of money. Clearly this was not a concern here. I can’t wait to see the bag alley with foliage waving high out of all of them. Will be a splendid sight to inspire daydreams of ‘chips’ (a term so adorably British) and make us drool. 😉

    Reply
  9. Kyna

    Funny. When I run up and down the street naked yelling ‘Potatoes!!’ my neighbours just call the police 🙁 Non-potato lovin’ mofos…<_<

    Reply
  10. Sylvana

    I was thinking about using these same bins for potatoes this year. I currently use shorter, wider bins just like this for collecting leaves. They are cheap enough at $5 a bin, too. But I forgot to order my seed potatoes!

    Potatoes would definitely be my desert-island food!

    Reply
  11. Sylvana

    Also, a tip for constructing these bins–
    when the tip of the strap comes full circle, keep in in the “tunnel” and keep pushing until the other tip is also completely in the “tunnel”, that way there are no loose ends hanging out and the top makes a complete true circle that stays open much nicer.

    Reply
  12. debsgarden

    Potatoes are a staple of life. You should have lots of great spuds to prepare in many different recipes. I look forward to seeing your harvest. I think the spud sacks should make growing and harvesting them easier.

    Reply
  13. The Idiot Gardener

    Dene, when did yours go in? It will be interesting to see how both sets perform.

    Damo, I was worried it wasn’t enough. I suffered from Spud envy, so Sante was added as a last minute thing.

    Brandi, we call that a “right result”.

    Intothegardenspace; indeed you cannot. The wedge isn’t as favoured as the chip is in Hingerland, but it’ getting there. Sadly, it lacks the grease content we so crave.

    Edith, dear Edith; I know your type. It’s all high tea at the Savoy, but when you get back home it’s slippers on and a nice spam sandwich! Admit it, Maida Vale needs my gardening stylings!

    Gloria, never thought of that; Pod Potatoes! I might steal that idea…

    Kilbournegrove, I do love a spud. I was worried that Chez Idiot might go through a potato famine.

    Is, potato salad with a boiled egg? I’ll have to give that a go. You’re welcome to the odd spud, so long as you wear the Badger on your head!

    Jo, if I’d been putting them in the ground the plan would have failed; it was filthy weather here too.

    Is, I prefer to think of it as planting by significant moments in the baby Jesus’s lifecycle. In truth, I read it in a Nigel Slater book, and thought I’d follow the herd. Maybe it’s planting by celebrity influence!

    Walk2write, if my ground wouldn’t produce the spud, I’d move! I’m growing them in compost – peat based compost, but my excuse is that the planet had already been wrecked and the bloke at the garden centre, who is stopping selling it, sold me a truck load at cost just to get rid of it.

    Kara, I’ve never understood the notion of you lot calling crisps chips, and chips fries. Crisps are not chips, they’re crisps, because they are actually crisp. Chips are chips of potato, hence chips. French fries; well, I’ll say no more on that topic. Still, they all come from the spud, so it’s all good, no matter what they’re called!

    Kiwi, I have Arran Pilots, Pink Fir Apple and Sante. I was going to have Arran Victory, but I bought some and they tasted of nothing and fell apart at the sight of a pan of hot water.

    Meredith, I have an unfortunate trait in that when I do something, I do it. If the bags don’t work … well, let’s not even think about that yet!

    Kyna, you need to move. Actually, I hate my neighbours. It’s a thought!!!

    Sylvana, as I’m a totally impatient and cack-handed moron, just getting the straps in was enough of an accomplishment without bothering about making them neat! Maybe next year (or not) I’ll tidy them up.

    Debs, I am inspired by your confidence; I seem to be akin to Pol Pot in the garden at present!

    POTATOES! Right, I’ve been for my morning jog; I’ll just get dressed now.

    Reply
  14. The Idiot Gardener

    Mal; I know, the chip pan comment was a generic potato-related comment added as a poor attempt at spud humour. I did wonder long and hard about getting a good chipping spud, but to be honest I can’t remember the last time I actually made chips! The faff is too much, so I tend to save them as something to have when I’m out, although that does mean that often I am disappointed. Once I realised my error, I already had the seed potatoes. What is it they say about marrying in haste? Handy link though; thanks for that!

    Reply

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