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Monday, June 25, 2012
A week shy of midsummer’s day we were both at the allotment for the zillionth time that week, trying to weigh down the polytunnel.
A bitter wind lashed the plot, the shed door banged (taking the heads off my newly-planted marigolds) and my Co-Allotmenteer clung to the flapping material like the footage you see of climbers trying to pitch a tent on Everest.
Allotmenteering, I thought – not for the first time – has to be the worst hobby in the history of pastimes.
Surely anything... recreating the Eifel Tower in used matchsticks, knitting scenes from the Bible... would be preferable.
“Forget this,” I said. (Inserting the word “forget” for something less wholesome.) “If we don’t harvest something from this ruddy allotment soon, I’m going to throw the towel in.”
We surveyed the rain-sodden earth.
“But what?” asked my Co-Allotmenteer.
“The spuds!” I announced.
“But they haven’t finished flowering,” informed my Co-Allotmenteer. Now Game of Thrones has finished, he’s been boning up on gardening magazines.
“I don’t care,” I told him. “Get the spade.”
In all, our first potato harvest weighed 200 grams, consisting of micro Bonsai spuds the size of peas.
We didn’t need a trug to get them home; a coat pocket was room enough.
But, served on a saucer, covered in butter with a sprig of home-grown mint, they tasted sweet, nutty and delicious. Better, definitely, than a Parisian landmark made of Swan Vestas.