I succeeded in getting the spuds in today. After mucho running and racing and dragging my daughter I finally found a long handled spade. None of these short stubby back-breakers for me. Dug three ridges about 2m long each and put in the sprouting seed potatoes. All done in about three hours, this included a tea break and gabbing with other gardeners and farmers about manure and rhubarb and the price of weddings.
“The sprout facing up daddy”, Lucy told me. This is her second year to plant spuds at school so she knows what she’s talking about. She brought home the harvest last year, one potato. Anyway, who am I to laugh? While digging dirt, she also told me what a compound word is, “A word put together with two other words Daddy, e.g. afternoon or outside”. I never knew this. She’s only six. Well, six and three-quarters.
Anyway, the allotment cost €180 for 45sq.m. enough to feed a family of 11 I’d say. But all the gear is coming in around €200 total on top – a bit on the stiff side. But most of the stuff I won’t have to buy again. Spade, hoe, fork, rake, trowel, and gloves, netting to keep the boids away, bamboo sticks to hold up the netting, pegs are handy to hold the netting, twine, knife. Seeds are dear enough and can be bought much cheaper on line as I discovered. And in larger quantities, so you could hook up with a friend to buy them. I’ve seen guys out there (there’s a lot of that sort of thing goes on – looking at other fellas allotments) with measuring tapes, builders line, planks, GPS systems, and all sorts of stuff. I don’t think a potato or onion has to be in a dead straight line to grow. In fact Mother Nature isn’t good on straight lines herself.
Besides the flask, a couple of bread rolls, and a packet of Maynards pastilles I’m trying to keep it simple and I ask myself what did our grandfathers do? They used their eye and they used their judgement and got on with the job with a few simple tools. And now with the idiot-proof potato i.e. the plight resistant variety, everyone’s a winner. I put in Orlas’.