…lurks the bin where I was storing my potatoes.
Well, I say ‘was storing my potatoes’, when in fact what I probably should have said was ‘was ignoring my potatoes in the hopes that they might magically go away’. Last year I grew way too many potatoes and despite a policy of aggressively giving them away to anyone who didn’t run away fast enough, come spring we still had many potatoes left over. Many many potatoes.* The bin, lined with newspaper, did a pretty good job of keeping them away from the light and the frost but eventually potatoes are going to start sprouting whatever you do and that’s what ours did. Although we kept on eating them longer than was probably a strictly good idea, in the end we had to admit defeat and start buying potatoes again.
Which left the ones in the bin.
I couldn’t put them in the compost, because that would basically amount to planting them. I couldn’t plant them because you’re not supposed to plant out your home grown potatoes. I didn’t really think they were bonfire material and it honestly didn’t occur to me for ages to just put them in the wheely bin like normal people and let the council take them away. So for the last couple of months they’ve been sitting in the corner of the shed, in the dark, giving me a vaguely anxious feeling every time I caught sight of their bin. I had no idea what was going on in there, but I had an idea it wasn’t going to be pretty. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to lift the lid to look in case some desperate light-starved potato tendril grabbed me and dragged me down into the depths to act as a ready supply of nutrients.
Well today, I finally nerved myself up (I asked the other half but he declined: risking life and limb to despider the bath is one thing, apparently, but tackling an army of ravening potatoes is quite another) and lifted the lid prior to tipping the lot into the wheely bin:
I was relieved to find they hadn’t gone all revolting – and none of them managed to grab me – but all those pale yearning shoots did leave me feeling rather sorry for them. I even toyed with the idea of just filling the bin with compost, Bob Flowerdew style, and letting them grow before I remembered that solving the ‘too many potatoes to eat’ problem with ‘growing more potatoes out of them’ wasn’t really going to get me anywhere.
* anyone who suggests growing your own is a way of cutting down on food waste, by the way, is completely insane. You don’t even know what wasting food is until you start growing your own veg. It’s actually one of the most stressful parts of having a veg patch.