We’ve been taking part in the Genuine Jersey potato growing competition for a few years now. It’s a great initiative that’s now in its 12th year of encouraging parishes, schools and a smattering of media to get engaged and up to their côtes in potato growing paraphernalia. It’s all in pursuit of growing the most successful crop of our island’s best, from one little bucket. This month all the island’s schools will be tending to their plant and seeing who will be victorious in the spring. Over 7500 were engaged last year, inspiring young minds by adding an element of competition to growing Jersey’s staple crop. Accolades are awarded, along with tea and biscuits, at a different parish hall each spring.
Last year was the turn of Grouville and the tension was palpable as we headed down to discover how many tubers we had in our tub, which parish would be victorious and how we’d fare against the other media. In the Constable’s section, Deidre Mezbourian of St Lawrence had the most potatoes (43) and Juliette Gallichan of St Mary produced the heaviest crop (1692.2g). In the WI competition,Trinity (Sheila Le Var) grew the heaviest crop (1604.9g) and St Clement grew the most tubers (46).It was our turn for a win in the media weight class, clinching it with 1409.6g of potatoes while ITV Channel had the most potatoes in their bucket (43). John Garton, Chief Executive of Genuine Jersey Products Association, is looking to stir up even more enthusiasm for Jersey’s most famous export with this year’s competition.
“For many this competition is the highlight of their social calendar and a great, fun event that brings together thousands of Islanders of all ages. As well as celebrating the Jersey Royal, it’s a chance to educate people on the benefits of a healthy diet, growing their own vegetables and supporting local Jersey producers. There is a great deal of pride linked to Jersey Royal potatoes and it is important that we pass this down to younger generations.”
It’s actually quite amazing how fired up you can get on a spring morning in a parish hall surrounded by potatoes. If you have a family member that’s creeping out to tend to their plant over the coming months, wish them good luck from us.