Growing Potatoes At Home Using Local Resources Part II: Stonework And Planting


April 2021

So along comes April and I pick up where I had left off in Part I of this Pictoral Potatosong.

I've decided I want to build a stone terrace in the manner of my Portuguese experience from a year ago. Over there, I discovered an affinity for working with dry stone and repaired sections of some of the walls. The most satisfying achievements were a stone floor for an outdoor shower area and when I fixed a BIG breach in the wall supporting the first-level terrace, right in front of the entrance to the homestead.



Back in Scotland, in the here and now, I clear an area for the foundations and go foraging for stones. It takes a number of days and lots of trips (on foot, with wheelbarrow, with vehicle) to the various woods, streams and hills around here in order to get what I need. The process works more-or-less as it did in Portugal: the stones largely suggest themselves, both for collection as well as for placement. Stones fall nicely into place and each one gets used in the construction. The base layers are wide and the wall is four layers high. Only stone (large, medium, small) is used, along with packed earth.





As the wall rounds itself off, the ultra secure dog-proof fence continues to work its magic and stop the canine hordes from invading.



Next, I level the soil and prepare the mix. My mix consists of compost that's been going at the bottom of the garden for a couple of years; some commercial compost from the supermarket; soil that was shaken out of the top-layer of earth; some horse shit in various stages of dryness (from moist to bone-dry) which I collected from the bridal paths on the hills around here on a walk with Mum and Flame some weeks ago.

I fetch the homemade compost from the back garden in the new wheelbarrow...

....and get on with some urban mix'n'shit.



Now the long-chitting tatties can finally be placed into the ground. It's my first time, so I plan out where I'm going to plant them. There are 17 places available, each marked with a stick.



Little spuddies, may you thrive in light and shadow, night and day!

May 2021

I educate myself online and learn a little more about planting tatties. I dig another trench in front of the wall. In go six more 'Selected Scottish' seed potatoes which are duly covered in soil.




There are an additional 10 seed potatoes in pots, containers and a jute bag who decline to be interviewed or photographed for this post!

That makes a grand total of 33 seed potatoes for the observant amongst you. The previous sentence also has the word 'grand' in it...sheeesh!

Anyway, baseless conspiracy theories about Barge being GM of Lodge #1060 aside, important shit has been happening underground. All 17 little terraced-ones have now raised their heads and confirmed to me they are just fine. The photo below is from this very afternoon!


Phaaan Tas Tick ✔️

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All images @barge | Thanks for visiting 🙏

CameraNikon D200
LensNikon AF-S 40mm f2.8 MG
LocationEdinburgh, Scotland

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