The first new potatoes are appearing in the supermarket but I’m not tempted because they’re from the North Island and always a disappointment in comparison with the far tastier, but slightly later ripening, North Otago ones.
Until the local spuds are available I won’t be buying, but the thought of them prompted the choice of this Friday’s poem.
It’s Planting Spuds by Brian Turner from Footfall published by Godwit in 2005.
You were reading where a man planting spuds
in his garden saw it as his ‘sovereign prerogative’
a phrase both lofty and daft, possibly outrageous.
It’s hard to decide. As is, if what one does could ever
be worthy of such belief. And it’s difficult to know
if you’re a certain sort of person, what one has
a right to do, or whether one should even be troubled
by the question. I can easily imagine working in a bee-loud
corner of a glade, a lost domain, humming happily
or watching a rabbit unnoticed yet ever alert,
nibbling grass perked by rain. But what one
chooses to do next is governed by more than
one’s own prerogative. You should be ready to run
like a rabbit, no matter what. It’s got something
to do with who’s part of the food chain, and which
way the wind’s blowing. What do you reckon?
How deep in the ground would you put spuds
if you didn’t have the requisite advice printed
on the bag they came in? And would it help to
plant them before the sun goes down and the bees
return to the hive? Does anyone know that?
– Brian Turner –