Introducing the potatoes.

Chips, precious?

Po-tay-toes! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew... Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.

The potatoes are here thanks to the Begetters-of-Frugilegus. They chitted them lovingly, nurtured them into sproutingness, then passed them into my care. They also donated the buckets I am growing them in knowing it would give me joy to see objects they’d rescued from someone’s rubbish redeployed.

So now I need to attempt to justify the title of this post. In reverse order:

Rocks on a Roll: I get rather excited once I’ve planted my seeds. I normally give them an hour, and then enter a routine of checking them regularly to see if they’ve grown yet. I’ve even been known to poke about in the mud in my impatience to see if anything is happening. If left to my own devices I could probably spend the whole day checking up on progress; like painting the Forth Bridge, once I’d got to one end, I’d have to go back to the first ones to see if they had broken the surface since I last looked.

Anyway, potatoes were no different. After two days with no above-ground action, I decided I’d planted rocks by mistake. Albeit wrinkly, rooty rocks. I sulked extensively, but watered the rocks anyway, and after aeons and aeons – at least another day – leaves poked out. And now the buggers are really on a roll. Each evening I add another few inches of compost to cover them over, and each evening find they’ve burst through once more. At this rate I’ll only have another couple of weeks of earthing up before my mountain can rise no more. I wonder how tall anyone has made a potato pile. Is there an optimum height?

Glugs: Definitely shoe-horning this one in. They’re very thirsty. They knock the water back. That’s it.

Sex: Each of the four buckets hosts a different variety. We have Maris Bard, Nadine, Rocket and “Sex”. Mother-of-Frugilegus had been given the task of carefully labelling the compartments of the egg-tray that the potatoes sat in while they chitted with the names of the different varieties. She cannot explain why she named the fourth pair “Sex”. Not a Freudian slip, she insists; an abbreviation perhaps? So she asked the supplier what potatoes they had that began with ‘sex’ but they denied stocking such a thing. Internet research turned up a “potato database”, but, of course, one needed to enter four letters to yield a result. Saxon is the closest I’ve found on other lists… So, I don’t know what to think. Saxon? Or is there a sex potato out there?

The wondrous spud

I marvel each day at the growth of my sprouting stones, but what’s going on above ground is nothing to what’s going to be occurring below the surface. The plant is striving to get to the light and produce leaves and flowers. My daily additions of mud to the pot frustrate these efforts, forcing more root to be produced as it fights towards the sun. But soon, our battle will be over. I’ll leave it be, and let it produce its mess of vegetation and topple all over the place..  But the real activity will be hidden from view. All that root, those poor thwarted leaves, will be multiplying and swelling into marvellous starchy globules –  each one versatile  enough to soak up gravy or scoop up aioli.  I can’t wait to dig up this treasure!

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