There are few feelings that compare to being at one with the earth. To feel the rich black soil on your hands, to know that you have raised something from an insignificant seed to become a full, bountiful, luxuriant offering that could grace any kitchen worktop. How do I know? Because I have been there, done it, and got the muck under my fingernails to prove it.
Those who follow the minutiae of my daily life with fascination (and I know there are several thousand of you out there) will recall that a few months ago three large plastic tubs and nine small seed potatoes were delivered to our house - the offerings of an anonymous admirer. I planted them, watered them and fed them with crumbled Nice biscuits, and three months later I reaped the rewards of my labour. Ah harvest time: never has the phrase had more meaning for me than the autumn of 2008.
Anxiously, last week, I gathered my crop : and what a crop. In just a few months nine small seed potatoes had been magically transformed into 62 slightly larger potatoes. From the photograph you can clearly see the pride of the farmer, the God-like glow of the rustic swain. I am at one with the earth.