We couldn’t live without potatoes. Fact. So the decision of what variety to grow and the method of how we would grow them sparked a fierce debate at the beginning of the year. I set my heart on what’s traditional and lobbed for heritage varieties grown in ridges. That would make my granddad happy.

My memories of visiting my grandparents’ house will always lead me down the same path: marching along the railway track (no health & safety back then!), then turning right by the rowan tree to the narrow path between fields of rye and hilled rows of perfectly symmetrical potato plants.

My grandfather would “employ” me to pick up potato beetles, which was not my most desired summer job… For this very reason the task was never done and by the end of summer the plants would turn bare and unattractive. Whether that affected the crop I would not notice. Potato was never in shortage in Poland.

Back in modern Hertfordshire we abandoned the idea of ridges for the lack of space and uncertainty of yield and picked three varieties of potato recommended by Monty Don. At the beginning of February the Ratte, Pink Fair Apple and Belle de Fontenay inhibited the deserted green house for chitting. This method, forcing the spud to sprout in the times when no vegetation is possible outdoors, encourages faster growth when the potato is finally in the ground.

And there you have it: 100 days later we harvested our first crop of beautiful, long, pale yellow tubers of Belle de Fontenay. And believe me there is nothing more satisfying than the earthy smell of potatoes freshly dug from your own garden.