It’s an immensely satisfying feeling, when you have guests for dinner, to be able to say, I grew those potatoes myself. If, like me, you have tatties at least once a day then you’ll find it rewarding to grow your own produce and serve it up as part of a meal.
This year, after an inspirational workshop by John Marshall, at Tayport Community Garden, I thought I would give tattie growing a go in my own little veggie patch. The workshop, back in January, was interesting and informative and gave me the confidence to sow a few drills. Growing up on a farm, tatties were a major source of food for our family all year round. There was much delight at tasting the new tatties, eaten with a knob of butter and passing verdict on their taste. Later on in the year, the major crop was harvested. ‘Howking’ tatties is the reason we have a school holiday in October, still known, I believe, as the tattie holidays. As farm children we were aggrieved that we had to help lift our dad’s tatties for free whereas our village counterparts were paid!
Potatoes, once planted, need very little looking after. I planted one row of an early variety, ready now in early July and a row of main crop. I pulled out the occasional weed and earthed them up a couple of months ago. It was quite nerve wracking digging up my first shaw – as we call the stem in Scotland – to see how the crop was and I am ridiculously proud with the results.