Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Labour of the month: June

This month's Labour of the Month is not so much hard work, but a reward for time well spent in March –

PPPs Labour for May is . . .

New Potatoes

If you think potatoes are just white starchy lumps
that are there to soak up the gravy – think again!
Freshly dug new potatoes are a gourmet treat worth waiting for;
forget supermarket bought 'new potatoes'
home-grown are in a different league altogether . . .

This is our potato bed in the vegetable garden – doing well but not quite ready to dig up yet; but along the side of the greenhouse I planted potatoes in large plastic pots . . .

The one on the far left has 'gone over' slightly and looks ready to harvest – Sharpe's Express, I decided to grow this because I remember my dad grew it in the 1960s – this has to be the new potato flavour etched on my memory.

I'd put some large stones in the base of the pot and covered them with a layer of home-made compost, on this I placed the seed potato and covered it with leaf mould from The Wild Wood (thank you Cottage Smallholder for this great tip). As the potato plant grew I topped up the leaf mould and layered it with grass clippings. You can see the mix has rotted down to a soft rich compost. By the way, do you like the label? It's cut from a slat of the old venetian blinds I removed from my studio – I now have an endless supply!

Looking good! Not a massive crop, but the quality and size is excellent and they just fall out of the compost so cleanly.

What better to go with new potatoes . . . freshly picked Crimson Flowered Broad Beans and Purple Podded Peas of course :-) And a snip of that Summer Savoury – the perfect herb to pair with beans of any variety.

All ready for cooking . . . you can cook the potatoes in their skins, but I just rub the papery skin off when I wash them; you can see the lovely fresh bright green of the beans – Crimson Flowered Broad Beans don't have that thick grey-green skin so they are tender and delicious with no need to skin them after cooking.



  1. Everything looks delicious! My potatoes aren't ready yet but I've been getting loads of strawberries - just made my first jam of the year.

  2. Celia, that all looks delicious! my new potatoes aren't ready yet (planted them laaate), and sadly there was no space for broad beans, but I've had salad and radishes, and the first courgettes are not far off! (my first every courgettes actually, not just this year!)

  3. that should read 'ever', not 'every'. sorry

  4. nice! next season i am thinking of trying 2 potato towers.

  5. Celia, much as I truly realize the impossibility of inviting myself over to your home for supper featuring all these 2011 veg garden gems, let me say that I do wish that dream could come true.

    Here's a question about those delicious new potatoes. How do you know when it is really time to take them to the kitchen?

    I'm typing this as I finish tonight's late supper that did include lots of so-called fresh veg from my market. Nothing from the freezer, yet I do know that I am not tasting the best flavors that nature (with our encouragement) can offer.


  6. A meal from the garden is always so much more enjoyable........

    I just love rootling around in the garden looking for buried treasure .........spuds, always a surprise what you can find.

    well done on your green thumb adventures.....

    Claire :}

  7. Ooh they look nice! Although you don't appear to have your butter:potato ratio quite right. Should be 1:1
    I didn't bother with spuds this year and I am missing the excitement of digging them up...

  8. My broad beans aren't quite ready yet (planted them late!) but there are lots of pods on the plants. All grown from the beans saved from the plants you gave me a couple of years ago!

  9. Nothing beats vegetables from ones own garden. We've had very little yet - I'm out there egging it on!

    The dry spring delayed germination and then it has been so cold and wet since. I expect we'll get there in the end. Meanwhile I shall get vicarious pleasure from your produce.

  10. I've only just found your blog. Just finished reading this post, and I'll be reading through some more over the next few days when I get some time!

    New Potatoes are delicious when supremly fresh!!

    Have a good day



  11. i havent been home in two weeks and this has made me feel really homesick for some reason... I guess I cant wait to get back to the garden... x

  12. Ohhhh, delicious! I can taste them from here ;)

  13. I always feel like such a complete failure when I see your garden and what it produces. Maybe one day I will get my act together.

  14. What a bounty of veggies! I'm amazed by what people can grow in their gardens! Being a novice gardener I really enjoy viewing other gardens for inspirations. Maybe I'll try potatoes next year! I was so excited to pick my first ever radishes!

    Have a lovely weekend!

  15. Isn't it great to grow your own? Only in the last 3 years have I dabbled in growing veg and the only annoying thing is that I didn't start sooner.
    Your own, just taste so delicious!
    Have just started to read your blog, really good!

  16. Yum, the perfect meal - our potatoes looked pathetic, not much foliage to speak of, but despite this we are still getting a decent crop. Yours look amazing, and I will have to look up the Crimson Flowered Broad Beans.

  17. My two favourite things..new potatoes and broad beans. I am proud that I have actually grown some broad beans this year. In this unhelpful climate they are quite high an dhave just flowered, although they fell pver in the wind and when I tied them up there was a snail on them.I am hopeful.


I love reading all the comments (except for spam and advertising which I will delete) and I'll reply here in the comments under each blog post, it may take a few days if I'm busy.
You don't need to have a blog to leave a comment, you can select the name/URL option and fill in just your name instead of a blog link.