Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Monday, February 3 – Potatoes

Today I sorted out potatoes that will hopefully sprout and be ready to plant in a few weeks. The old boys at the pub were shaking their heads at the prospect of using what they called ‘shop bought potatoes’ for ‘chitting’. But it seems to me that human beings managed to grow potatoes long before so called ‘seed potatoes’ were sold separately, so I assume we shall have some degree of success.

I fetched some old egg boxes from the back of the larder for the potatoes to sit in. I’ve always saved egg boxes when we’ve had shop bought eggs, in case I have a surplus of our own, which is unlikely at the moment with the hens on strike. There wasn’t a single egg today. I put some small whole potatoes in two boxes, making sure that they all had eyes uppermost. Then I cut a couple of larger potatoes into chunks, with each piece having two or three eyes and put them in boxes as well.

Nowhere is especially warm so I’ve put the boxes on the dining room window sill as that room gets sunlight and is warmed by the fire. I know I need to have pinkish green sprouts from each potato before they can be planted. Martin noticed that one of the potatoes in the sack was sprouting, but long white shoots are not the ones we need, apparently.

I felt quite excited making these preparations. Of course it will be months before we have new potatoes, but it is something to look forward to. That and the baby, of course. Anna is rosy with health and she is looking a little plumper, but only just.

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