Barefoot potato farming

I have been experimenting in my small town centre garden here in Lewes, England. All year I have been using a really very small space to see just how much fruit and veg I can grow. After having a large garden in my previous, very rural, house, I thought I would miss the pleasure of growing things so I have crammed my garden with produce to see if it is worth while. By that, I mean, to see if I can at least grow enough for a few good meals which will mark the changing seasons and make me feel a part of them. The three-tiered contraption above is my potato planter which I hoped would be bursting with new potatoes. I am going away to Italy and Switzerland soon so I decided to harvest the potatoes yesterday without really knowing if I was being a bit preemptive.

In all honesty I didn’t really know what I was doing …..

…and I wasn’t sure what would happen when I started to dismantle the three containers.

The first one came off easily, the plants just slipped through and I was left holding the compacted soil.

The same happened with the second one.

Then it just became mucky fun as I removed the last tier and let the whole thing collapse. Yesterday was very hot and humid so it was a minimal clothing day. One of the great pleasures of gardening, I think, is that sense of contact with the soil so I have always enjoyed barefoot gardening, in all seasons. It allows us to make real contact with the earth….just like it would have been like for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before they ate that apple.

It was like a treasure hunt but I was relieved to see that even though I had harvested very early, that there were enough potatoes to justify all that watering.

I could have had twice the quantity I suspect if I had waited until September but I was impatient to find out what was hidden in the soil and I didn’t want the plants to bolt whilst I was away. So this was my experimental crop and I think I have learnt how to do it this year. Next time I expect to do even better and I shall certainly plant a new batch next year.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.