May 2024

“The Humble Spud”

Potatoes. The staple of the Irish diet down through the years, when nearly everyone used to grow their own. Now, fewer people “go to the bother”. However, not only have the numbers of commercial growers in Ireland decreased in recent years, but owing to record rainfall levels this spring, most potato farmers could not plant their potatoes on time. Thus, a shortage for consumers is predicted for later on in the year. We can’t rely on imports either, as other countries have also suffered inclement weather. If everyone in Ireland, who was in a position to do so, could grow even a few spuds of their own, it would alleviate the predicted shortfall in the autumn. It is too late to buy seed potatoes now, but shop-bought potatoes that have begun to sprout could be planted. For those without a large garden, they can be grown in a large box or plastic sack, even on a patio. The rewards of eating delicious home-grown potatoes will be well worth the small amount of effort involved and might perhaps foster an interest in, and appreciation of the joys of, growing vegetables.