Harvesting potatoes

I love harvesting potatoes.

There’s a sensual pleasure in pushing a hand down into soft black earth and feeling around for that smooth, round shape that can’t possibly be a clod of earth.

Pulling it out, caressing the roundness of it and putting it in the basket.

And another. And another.

I know I really should  pick only what I need for a meal and leave the rest as an in-ground store, but once I’ve started, I can’t stop till they’re all up. It’s like a drug hit.


There are 2.5 kilos there and still 3 more patches to harvest.

In the ‘3 more patches’ I’m not including this lot:


They’re growing in a freebie compost bin that came from the local Council. I got it for agreeing to take part in a ‘halve-waste’ program they’re running. To be eligible, I had to agree to put out my rubbish bin only once a fortnight, in other words, halving my waste. It was easy, because I only ever put it out once a month anyway. For that, I got a free compost bin and $20 off my rates each year ($20!!!….generous lot, our Council!).

Anyway, it looks like there’s going to be a good crop of potatoes in there, but I’m not sure I want to eat them.

You see, this is not one of my normal compost bins, where I put the ‘good’ stuff. This one gets all the ‘junk’ stuff, like the gunk out of the greasetrap, the stuff from the vacuum cleaner bag, weeds with seeds and a variety of deceased animals. There are at least 2 dead rabbits and 1 dead possum in there (they died of natural causes). It’s never been emptied. I just keep throwing stuff in and it keeps on shrinking.

Maybe I should harvest the crop of potatoes and just use them for replanting in another, more wholesome place.

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