True, the phrase "potato blossoms" does not carry the sorts of festive connotations as do such word combinations as "cherry blossoms" or "apple blossoms," but these flowers nonetheless have a subtle beauty all their own.
I've been planting potatoes in my gardens for a few years now, and this spring I doubled the amount of seed potatoes I usually plant. I suppose this was in part a subconscious reaction in light of grain shortages and skyrocketing food prices, but truth be told, I also had more seed cuttings than I needed, and I could not bear to just throw them out.
So I have a few dozen sturdy, 3-foot plants starting to bloom in late June, which probably means something like 100-150 pounds of potatoes from late August to early October, all for a little over $1.00 in seed potatoes. Of course, there is some labor involved, since it's a good idea to gradually add a few inches of extra dirt every few weeks in case the potato tubers peek through the ground, as well as the occasional weeding that is needed.
I also think my own quasi-Irish heritage plays a role in my fascination with growing my own potatoes, and perhaps the urge to plant these edible tubers is hardwired into the DNA of the descendants of Irish peasants. Anthropologist Seamus Metress describes the period from 1845-51 as the Great Starvation in reference to the negligence and indifference of the British to address the Irish famine from the potato blight.
It is possible, then, that my decision to plant extra potatoes this year had its roots in a segment of the billions of nucleic acids - jumbled together in a fashion only God could fully comprehend - that comprise my being and influence the actions I take. Perhaps the urge to plant edible tubers, though not as strong as the drive to reproduce or the will to live, is instinctual in nature, and I was responding to some chemical reaction that activated after the appearance of a certain external stimulus (news about food shortages).
Or maybe I am just a cheap SOB who couldn't bear to waste 35 cents worth of red and white seed potatoes.