Over the last few years I’ve noticed more and more of my friends have started growing their own. It may be a reflection of age (or maturity) that I’m referring to vegetables instead of the illicit herbs of our youth or maybe it’s just because we’ve reached a stage in our lives where we’ve become the proud owners of gardens as we’ve moved from single lives, flats and flat shares to partners (husbands/wives), houses and room for a veg patch or two. Not so much Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ roll as Sex, Spuds and digging holes!
There is something very satisfying about eating your own produce, although when you consider the amount of work, the time it takes to grow and (when you live with cats) the cost of protecting your precious crops from predators, bugs, blight and garden saboteurs I wonder if it’s all worth it? But then my idea of gardening is to offer words of encouragement to a sweaty man whilst sipping wine from a safe distance so who am I to judge?
The other problem with growing your own is that you wait for months for the crop to be ready then it all comes at once. Every June (first earlies – in gardening terms) and August we have a glut of potatoes and there are only so many meals that you can fit a spud into. So how to store them? Apparently the best storage for spuds are hessian sacks, kept in the dark and above 5degreesC. If spuds are exposed to light for too long they go green and become poisonous as they’re of the same family as deadly nightshade (solanaceae) which might be worth remembering!
The other thing potatoes tend to do when left in the dark is grow!