Stranger than Fiction…

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of potato chitting

Yes, I have to admit that when I saw this specimen above, I had to look twice. What did you think?  A minor character from Lord of the Rings?  A gothic mother and child, mayhaps?  No, actually it’s what you might call a “First Early”. One humble potato, eager to get growing, even before it’s been planted in the ground.

You may remember, back in April, I wrote on Scéalta Ealaíne about growing our own potatoes and now, nine weeks later, our plot is a wonderful jungle of potato plants and – the first flowers have just appeared.

photo by eoin mac lochlainn of potato plants

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of potato flower

And if you thought that the unplanted specimen above looked like some scary character from literature, what about this freaky white flower?  Indeed – but isn’t it just incredible how so much new life bursts forth out of one wrinkled old spud.

And I’ve made several paintings inspired by potatoes over the years (see one below).  I don’t think of them as merely pictures of potatoes but they’re more a search for the essence of nature, trying to discover that spark…  I think it’s just a great privilege to be able to witness this growth, this new life – and to have some part in its development – so that’s one reason for these ‘potato’ paintings.

green watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Some of these can be seen at The Olivier Cornet Gallery and they’ll be appearing again in another exhibition later on this summer. (More news about that later)

Slán go fóill,  eoin



  1. This article on growing one’s own spuds is very interesting, Eoin. It’s the way to go for both rural and urban dwellers. It’s back to the future. Irish people, particular farmers but also people with good gardens, will need to ‘grow their own’ vegetables. Irish farmers will need to grow more crops and get out of cattle farming. Eoin, I want to invite you to the launch of my latest book (of poems/verses) this day week, 16 June, Bloomsday, in Rathmines Library upstairs at 5.45pm-6.00pm


  2. “Prátaí ar maidin, is prátaí um nóin, is dá n-éireoinn ag meánoíche – prátaí a gheobhainn.”

    “Bíonn na fataí nite, bruite agus ite ag an gConnachtach an t-achar a thóigfeadh sé ar an Muimhneach ‘prátaí’ a rá.”

    ‘Préataí’ a thugtar orthu i nDún na nGall…

    “The garden where the praties grew” – chaithfeadh sé gur i nDún na nGall nó i gCúige Uladh a bhí sé!


Leave a Reply, I'd like to hear your viewpoint.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s