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Oh! these Blooming Potatoes!

by Manjunath Panickaparambil, Apr-4th , 2018



My breath has only just about gotten to normal after the sudden hailstorm scare that, thank god ! did not leave any much damage upon our Leaf &Fruit farm at Kottur when our Farm in charge Baiju called me and gave me one of his famous monosyllabic commands to drive over to Thali farm.

"Sir, it's about the potatoes"

"What about the potatoes, Baiju?"

"Come".

I did not expect what awaited me there as I nervously negotiated the sharp bend into the gate.

I blinked a bit and then burst into an insane smile. I simply was not expecting to see this.

Whoever thought these rather ordinary looking potato plants bearing their boring looking but delicious spuds as root tubers below the ground have such a glamorous phase in their life cycle? My Plain Jane Potato patch is suddenly flowering such gorgeous blooms that it would do a horticulturist proud !

Just look at the pictures!

I was really reminded  somewhere of the Easter lilies that suddenly pop up out on roadsides, some shaded corner patch back home in Kerala unfailingly around Easter time with no one quite remembering when they were planted. Of course those flowers are a different shade and do look a bit different but even these did remind me of those utterly charming long lived blooms at the end of their  long graceful slender green necks.

What a sight to my sore eyes !

It seems  both Tomatoes and potatoes are from  the same family: the Nightshades or Solanaceae.

While potatoes produce their edible product under the ground in the form of tubers, tomatoes bear an edible fruit on the leafy part of the plant. Their family relationship is expressed when sometimes some of the Potato flowers actually turn into a green cherry tomato like fruit that is really a berry full of seeds. Each berry can have about 300 seeds, which are sometimes planted by researchers who cross-pollinate different varieties and strains while hybridizing. The new varieties can then be propagated from tubers which will remain “true” to the variety.

Potato flowers can pollinate themselves, but are enhanced by bees and other pollinating insects; this only affects seeds in the fruits, not the quality or color of the underground tubers.

Anyway we are yet to see the fruits, if any, that some of these flowers could turn into. Will surely post if and when they do show up .

Anyway countdown has begun for our spud  harvest .Keep your eyes skinned for updates so that you can make a beeline for the store to gather your share of our  freshly dug out delicious spuds.

[I can already taste the creamy spread of mashed buttery just-out-of-the-earth still steaming potatoes upon my tongue ! Yummmm! :)]

Sorry, O exceedingly beautiful white Lily-like Potato Flowers for veering away from the Aesthetics of the eye to my life-long highly committed belly affair with the Pleasures Gastronomique !

Which is why I am in this line of work after all- Endlessly Sowing ,Farming ,Harvesting, Processing ... The Organic line from Seed to Table via Tongue ,Belly, Heart ,Soul through wholesomely raised happy food!

Signing  off now as work on earth calls ... See you at the Store soon.  


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