Spuds really are remarkable. Being so essential to life and also being so hefty to transport it makes a lot of sense to grow as many as possible close to home. Buckets in the backyard work fine if we have no garden or allotment.
To help make this more possible, once upon a time many years ago Lancaster’s very own Potato Day was invented. It is basically a celebration of spuds and an opportunity for anyone to come and buy organic seed potatoes. Potato Day always happens on the last Saturday in January so the seed potatoes can be taken home and allowed to chit [put out wee sprouts] until they are ready to be planted around Easter when the frosts have ended. Potatoes are really easy to grow and great for kiddies to plant and watch and eat.
Potato Day is now run by Claver Hill on a not-for-profit basis. We buy the seed spuds wholesale by the pallet and sack and sell them onwards in however small a quantity is wanted. This allows us to grow and compare several different varieties and not be stuck with a bag of just one sort. Everyone who makes Potato Day happen every year volunteers their time and energy. It is truly a community effort in honour of the humble potato.
Around the selling of the seed spuds a whole host of activities have grown up. The amazing Potato Cafe creates meals and soups – and cakes – with potato themes and there is an array of community stalls about local food growing and often some workshops or talks as well.
The next Potato Day will be sat 29th Jan from 10 am to 3 pm at the Friends Meeting House next to the train station.
Everyone is welcome – especially if you’re new to spud growing.
Claver Hill Farm is a six-acre field off Ridge Lane in Lancaster dedicated to allowing local people the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food. The land is to be held in trust for the community. https://www.facebook.com/ClaverHill/