Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Digging up the first of the potato plants last night, I thought of the whole country's history. It's a simple act. It's just planting a few rows of potatoes and hoping for the best. Yet somehow all the primary school famine text seemed to frame the work.

A few weeks back Michael Viney wrote a nice thing about growing potatoes in his Saturday piece in the Irish Times:

--"What can they do to you really", I once asked rhetorically of the world's darker fortunes, "if you have enough land to grow a half-tonne of spuds?"--

It does indeed seem a triumph over the world's darker fortunes to wrest the potatoes from the ground, boil them with some mint and serve them up with salt and butter. It looks like there'll be quite a few days of doing just this as the rows have been planted at different time intervals and the plants are flowering in turn.