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It was with great pride that this Saturday afternoon my son Alex harvested his first potato crop. The story started some months earlier when I explained to my two-year-old how when a potato is placed in the ground at the right time of year a little bit later it produces lots of baby potatoes. I showed him how the red potato (Desiree) had started to shoot and even how to place it in the ground. I then continued to mow the lawn and left him digging happily in the mud.

I had completely forgotten about the potato until quite recently I noticed a new plant growing and flowering in the garden. My family’s many years’ involvement in the fruit and vegetable industry did not help me in the answer to the mystery plant until my son said two words in his ever-expanding vocabulary “DIG POTATO!”

small boy holding a potato, smiling

How had I been so stupid? Of course he had planted the potato while I had been otherwise engaged and it had now grown and would soon be ready for harvesting. For the next few weeks we both watched the plant flower and then wilt waiting anxiously for the day when we would dig her up.Well this Saturday I took my garden fork and he took his hand spade and we dug up the plant. The excitement on his face as one by one we discovered potato after potato was a joy to behold. It truly was one of my happiest moments.

red desiree potatoes

This has only encouraged us to attempt grander things next year, a tomato plant perhaps?