Cara, Setanta and Hunter Potatoes emerging
in the no dig beds of Plot B
27th April 2013.
Field Study's Man in E17 glowed with the luxuriant warmth of the late afternoon sun when he showed me pictures of the newly emerging potatoes of Plot B. He recalled several weeks of waiting for the spuds to shoot, and even some anxiety that they might not show. I was quite alarmed when he described various, shall we say, 'rituals' enacted to encourage or entice the 'chitties' to make a gift of their leaves from the chicken manured darkness of the straw covered compost.
The field student smiled as he described one ritual which required him to dance naked around the potato beds at a particular phase of the moon. I expected the field student to acquire some of the customs and superstitions of the locals although I was, as I said, alarmed at the extent to which he immersed himself in the springtime potato wassailing customs of the denizens of E4.
The dance, he all most had me believe, had him naked, hopping about on his left leg, while grasping his scrotum firmly with his right hand and yanking firmly. He took a hold of his right ear with his left hand and also yanked vigorously. He romped around each potato bed in this contorted pose in a clockwise direction and sang out, "papa, potato, patata" at the top of his voice. What of his right leg? Well this appendage was engaged in the most peculiar of spasmodic genuflections which I would not debase myself by trying to describe or demonstrate.
"Of course, you are joking aren't you?" I gasped.
Field Study's Man in E17 (fully clothed) grasped his ear and nether part in a partial recreation of the act and replied with a wink, "the results speak for themselves".