It was time to dig up the potatoes. I was a little reluctant to do this because I knew I wasn’t going to get a bumper crop. Why? Because I didn’t mound my potatoes. Good grief! Why on earth not? (A little potato humour for you there.) Well, I had a new human child to keep me busy and the potato tops grew so fast that by the time I had time to mound them it was too difficult and beyond the point.
The Jersey Bennes, my early potatoes, were up first. Well, I got great things from these potatoes. A great crop? No! But great lessons. Like, no matter how busy you are, MOUND THE POTATOES. Alright, let’s see what we’ve got. My 11 Jersey Bennes yielded a small harvest of almost unmentionable proportions. Most of these were piddly, some even ‘dollar potatoes’, but the biggest seed potato yielded the best harvest, which is teetering on the edge of mentionable. I know, I plant in size order. The harvest was disappointing, although at least I came into it with low expectations. Life is tough in the trenches of my place this summer. Only the resilient will triumph.
After the disappointment of the first harvest I was even more reluctant to harvest my Agria potato crop. It didn’t help that temperatures have cracked 30degC or close to it for the last I don’t know how many days. These temperatures have combined with very little wind, too much humidity and non-existent air conditioning to form a giant heat beast. But still, the potatoes had to be retrieved, and preferably before the rain that is supposed to be coming. Some time. Maybe. Please?
This morning I trudged off to the trenches, dragging my feet like a disillusioned soldier. Of the nine seed potatoes I planted, one failed to fire (I haven’t had that happen before). As I scraped away the dirt from the first potato plant I was quite surprised to find some big potatoes sticking out. Yes! Great potatoes! I kept digging, spurred on by hope and a resurgence of the cause from deep within me, until I had harvested them all and victory was mine! I stood atop a mound, hoisted my spade into the air and yelled, “I am victorious!” Well, no, I didn’t, that would have been a little extreme.
Somehow the Agria potatoes laughed in the face of my dangerous non-mounding exercise and produced a stunning crop. I am still surprised. This was better than last years’ harvest. I guess they ate up all the horse poop and compost I set them in and just did their best with what they had. Jersey Benne schmeny; I know who’s fit for service in my garden! Although next season, hopefully things are a little less like war-time, and they will be enjoying a peaceful country life instead of fighting to gain ground. Maybe I will try some other varieties. Maybe I will give Jersey Benne another chance. But there most definitely will be some good ‘ol Agrias.