One day, whilst deep in a meditative trance, I connected with the spirit of Peter the Red, the chief of a tribe of Vikings that lived in my village over 1,000 years ago. During the ensuing conversation he challenged me with a particular task - an actual 'Mission from the Gods'!
'Tecwyn' he said, 'Your mission is to grow 1,000 kilos of potatoes and help save the planet from complete annihilation'.
'You can use a tractor and put diesel in it, but no chemicals, pesticides or artificial fertilisers!' He added.
I did try to ask him why this would prevent the annihilation of the planet, but he changed the subject.
Much of the ensuing conversation was to do with growing potatoes, but he also told me how he succeeded in travelling over the Atlantic ocean and discovering the awesome potato vegetable in the Americas. Many of us were taught at school that it was Walter Rayleigh that brought back the potato to the civilised world, but Peter revealed to me that this was simply not true and that people on the island of Ynys Mon had been growing potatoes long before then - it was because it was kept a very closely guarded secret by the indigenous Druid farmers.
Although most of the Druids have now gone, my island, Ynys Mon, is now famous for it's production of the most exquisite potatoes in all of Middle Earth. The Druids were experts in plant breeding or 'genetic manipulation' and much of their religion was based around this mythological vegetable. They changed the South American vegetable into something almost unrecognisable to those Americans and it is no surprise that they are still grown here on the fertile limestone soils. Indeed, such is the fame of the island's 'spuds' or 'tatws' that travellers from over 100 miles away are still to this day lured to the island by the intoxicating smell of freshly harvested tatws. Long queues can often form at the bridges, packed with cars and their occupants eager to sample the indescribable flavours of the island's produce.
Thanks to Peter the Red, I have been given permission to use a tractor - mine is an International Harvester 454 built in 1975. The first step in my potato mission is to plough the field and for this I have a separate instructable here: How to Plough a Field. Ploughing should be done as soon as the ground is dry enough in the Spring, never plough when the ground is water logged or you will get 'Soil Compaction', which is when the soil structure gets destroyed by inappropriate use of heavy machinery.