Listening to: Bullets (Tunng)
Weather: wet, bright, wet, breezy, wet
Pig weigh-in: Johnny Ramone 113lbs
There's a lot of talk about superfoods these days with scientists or magazine editors discovering every five minutes some magic fruit or tree bark that will make us all live to a ripe and miserable old age.
It will come as little surprise that the pig "farmer" has little truck with goji berries and spirulana, even if he knew what they were. We've got our own superfood here on the croft a few inches under the soil and in increasing numbers in sacks in the barn.
Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for that hero among foods. . . .
(long unnecessary and irritating pause just like when they announce results for TV gameshows)
. . . THE POTATO.
It's not only because I have an Irish mammy* that I love the spud or tattie, as I'm learning to call it. There's something for everyone from the finest chefs to the pisshead stumbling home balancing a bag of chips in one hand and a can of Special Brew in the other.
Fair enough, some of the veg patch competitors may have the edge in looks. . .
or. . .
. . . but when it comes to veg, I'll be dating the plain bird every time.
And if you're talking about superfoods, what could be more super than a food that has been a staple in Europe for the best part of 500 years? Yeah, wheat, I grant you, but you get what I'm driving at.
I don't recall any time in history where thousands, or millions even, died as a result of a failure of the blueberry crop - or because of a shortage of pork, for that matter, although I understand the Great Scratchings Shortage of 1867 caused a few worried moments in Dudley.
My veg growing has been largely experimental this year, getting used to the difference of weather, light, soil between Shropshire and Orkney, but I put in almost 300m of potatoes, planting five different varieties so we have spuds for salad, boiling, mashing and so on.
Next year I'll plough up an acre and a half and the temptation is to put it all to spuds, but we all know where reliance on one crop gets us.
"Patrick, the potato crop has failed and the bastard English have sold all Ireland's grain supplies so we have nothing to feed the children."
"Ah feck**, Liam, didn't I tell you to plant some butternut squash and pak-choi and introduce a rotation system. Now there's no choice but to go to America."
(I can't believe I just made light of the Famine - that's me off Gerry Adams' Christmas card list.)
Anyway, potatoes are great, but you know that already.
* Actually it's hard to imagine anyone less like an Irish mammy than my mum, but she's a mammy and she's from Dublin, so there.
** Nobody in the 1840s would have used 'feck' like that. It used to be a slang word for steal or even throw - Dermot Morgan has a lot to answer for.