Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Monday, February 01, 2010

One Potato, Two Potato...

It was the annual trip yesterday to Ryton for the Potato Day, where over a hundred different varieties of potato are all on sale loose for 20p a tuber, pick & mix stylee.

I've pondered on the varieties that I want to grow this year - weighing up taste, blight resistance, waxy & floury textures, & what will grow well on our soil - & I have been very much helped in coming to my decision by Nic at Nip it in the Bud.

She'd gone through the same decision process a week previously at her local potato day, enlisting the assistance of a potato expert, which helped her considerably. I didn't have a potato expert handy, but was quick to jump on her shirt tails & after some discussions back & forth formulated my wish list.

I chose the following:

International Kidney (6 first early) - these were really tasty last year
Mona Lisa (6 first early) - I wanted Dunluce but there weren't any, so I went with this variety which was recommended instead, partly as it has a nice name.
Osprey (6 second early) - I grew these last year, & very lovely they are too.
Charlotte (6 second early) - really good potato, can't fault these.
Robinta (8 main crop) - red skinned, recommended by Nic as her number one spud - good enough for me
Setanta (8 main crop) - these have been recommended as blight resistant and very tasty, so worth a go.

The bad news with the Dunluce having run out is that John Badger (from the Bottom) had asked if I'd get him some, so that's kippered that. Good news, however, is that I've found a supplier online so we can order them instead.

My good organisation faltered when I realised that I'd failed to work out how many spuds I wanted to buy - I know that it is less than last year, but I couldn't quite recall how many of each I should have had.

Checking back now, I have about half the quantity that I bought last year (i.e. not quite enough), so maybe it's a good job that I will be ordering those Dunluce for JB after all - I can see a few extra sneaking into the 'trolley', just to make the p&p worthwhile.

And confessions of a seed-hoarder: I took with me a shoebox full of packets of saved pea & bean seeds for the seed swap - I had planned to donate these as I have FAR TOO MANY SEEDS, but am ashamed to report that I somehow managed to come home with 4 new varieties of pea, 3 of climbing beans, a packet of red mustard & a pinch of pepper seed.

Oh! I've quite forgotten about the shattered basin, which is currently being held together by duck tape, pending new installation - but that belongs with the next post about wine, I think.


  1. Strange - I grew Dunluce once - and never again. I found it floury and disappointing. Still, if we all liked the same things some of us would get killed in the rush!

    I keep meaning to post a picture of my seed box. Seed hoarder in my case!

  2. Ooh- I'd love to go to a potato day, but some-how never get round to it!!

    I will have some spare Anya(salad) and Accord(first early- an improvement on Accent) if you would like some

  3. Shouldn't laugh ... quilters have a fabric stash, you definitely have a seed stash!

  4. Yes, good job that there's plenty of choice for all, isn't it, Flum!

    Well, if going round boxes & boxes of over 100 varieties of potato on a perishing cold January day in a tent doesn't float Phil's boat, then you must come with me next year, Julie! Sounds like you didn't get beyond the 'A's in the catalogue when choosing your spuds{gg}, but yes, I'd bite your hand off for a few of each if you have them - thank you!

    I haven't shown you the seed collection, Bilbo - it was a seed box, but if I am honest, there are coffee jars of beans and a basket of pea packets too...

  5. I spoke to Andy today to clarify the Victory/Victoria muddle and he said he'd been at Ryton. You didn't spot him then?
    Shame about the sink - I know mistakes are the greatest lesson but it's a shame when they beat the wallet to teach you something. Oh well, think of all the money you've saved on wine!

  6. You'd be surprised just how many older, slightly rustic gentlemen there were milling about on Sunday, Nic {grin} - so unless he had a big sign on, he didn't stand a chance of me spotting him!

    The basin is one of those things, I guess - at least it's covered by the insurance, & I've managed to track another one down despite the suite being an obsolete model in a funny colour, so it could have been a lot worse.


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