With the beginning of June fast approaching it is now possible to plant tender seedlings out on the allotment. For us, this the brassicas, French beans, sweetcorn, cucurbits and tomatoes. That is a heck of a lot of planting so Steve and I got cracking straight after lunch on Saturday.
Whilst I started planting the brassica seedlings, Steve dug over the bed in readiness for the French beans. The bed was mostly weed free but was peppered with volunteer potato plants. It doesn't matter how carefully you remove the potatoes when you harvest a crop, it is inevitable that you will leave a few tubers in the ground. It is also inevitable that these forgotten spuds will grow the next spring. This is particularly annoying when they pop up in the middle of your onion sets or carefully sown row of carrots as they represent quite a tricky weed to remove. However, on this occasion they weren't much of a bother as the bed wasn't required until now. As such, we had left them to grow, hoping there might be the beginnings of a few new potatoes when we removed them. And so it was. As I methodically planted out row after row of brassica plants, Steve methodically dug up the potato plants, plopping any new potatoes found into a flower pot as he went.
By the end of the afternoon, I had a bed full of brassica plants (netted against pigeon attacked and slugs & snails protection measures in place), and Steve had a flower pot overflowing with lovely new potatoes. Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know I'm forever banging on about the joy of eating with the seasons and there is no better moment than that when you eat the first of something. They are always at their sweetest and tenderest and the months of waiting make them even more delicious.
Back in the kitchen, I washed the new potatoes, their skins slipping off as easily as... "silk knickers", as Steve says. Then a bit of gentle boiling and a dab of butter. Yes, there are a hundred and one ways to cook a potato but quite honestly, it doesn't get better than that.