The humble Spud, King of the tubers.
Boil 'em Mash 'em Stick 'em in a Stew, as the loyal Samwise once professed, wise words from a wise hobbit. I'm keen (Tolkien) to share my love for this botanical wonder, so lets have a quick look.
Solanum Tuberosum to designate its full lofty title, Cousin of the eggplant and happy smiling nephew of the deadly nightshades. Originating from Peru where for thousands of years has been a reliable and versatile staple, it began making it's way to the forefront of western culinary recipes beginning around the 1700 's.
A great introductory choice for anyone looking to start producing their own produce, a few hours with a trusty shovel and you have quickly provided yourself a few months worth of tasty carbs. Reliable to the point of almost being considered a weed by many, this plant is great protection for those who during the early stages of the c19 pandemic realised that food supply chains can quickly become disrupted, and bare super market shelves can quickly turn from an inconvenience to an actual crisis. Be Prepared. my old scout master used to say before his woggle exploded.
Let's a Grow!
What you will need:
- some soil - tubs, pots, gardens, raised beds, vast neglected acres.
- some spuds - i bet this one shocked you...
- access to water - well well well, that's not a surprise.
cut the chit
no, i'm not chitting you, basically get a few potatoes and leave them out in the light for a day or so, this encourages the "eyes" to form and helps to increase yield. Bulkage.
don't worry about getting special "seed potatoes", everyone has that mad rooting neglected carbo legend primed and earth ready in some dark forgotten kitchen corner, don't sling him, dig him in!
Half a potato will do, there isn't some secret mega technique - basically just bury them, yup thats it!
If going straight to ground Try a 10cm deep trough, with one spud every 44.1cm (precision for the sake of precision), try and keep the troughs at least 80cm apart.
A glorious slosh of aqua and they will pretty much do their own thing, as soon as you see green shoots appearing heap a nice beefy mound of earth to cover the shoot, seems a bit mad but this helps, don't question it.
so, we are in! Some things to remember though:
- they are going to work best if get them in the ground march through June.
- keep an eye out for problems - yellow leaves, holes in leaves, stunted growth. leave a comment describing symptoms and i will try to help!
- plenty of water at regular intervals is only ever a good thing, those in arid lands will have a fair share of watering to do.
When tummies are sufficiently rumbling, or 80-160 days later, dust off the dust garden fork, don the de-spidered welly boots and get ready to dig up what you need. As and when your dinner requires, nip out pre-meal and pry a few free, a quick rinse and straight to the kitchen.
How To Eat - prepare for list
- Chips (yes, sufficiently different)
- Baked - works best with the big boys
- Probably not Raw
- Draw a happy face on one and keep him forever
Well thats about it ladies and gentlemen, any questions, potato or otherwise... please comment!
Coming up Next: "5 Plants i Didn't Know We Could Eat!"