Email: info@bordersorganicgardeners.org
Which potatoes to choose

Which potatoes to choose

Border Organic Gardeners Potato Day and Green Fair is one of the biggest potato days in the country and very possibly the oldest one still running every year. Even better, we are one of the cheapest too!

Next year’s Potato Day is on 5th March 2017. We open the doors at Springwood Park, Kelso at 11am and start wrapping up at 3pm.

Get directions to Springwood Park here.

What IS Potato Day?

First a bit of history. A little over 20 or so years ago, as part of the HDRA’s (now Garden Organic) commitment to biodiversity, the first Potato Day was held at their base, Ryton Gardens near Coventry. This was the brainchild of Jackie Gear MBE, formerly joint director, with husband Alan of HDRA to provide an opportunity for people to choose from as many varieties as possible when buying their seed potatoes, and be able to buy them in small quantities if they wanted to squeeze several varieties into a small space – seed potatoes being traditionally sold in bags of 30 or more tubers.

Several local organic gardening groups including us here at BOG (and latterly allotments, other gardening groups and garden centres) around the country picked up on the idea, with Borders Organic Gardeners being one of the first. BOG’s potato day remains one of the largest and busiest in the country.

Little known fact:
HDRA stands for Henry Doubleday Research Association, named by founder Lawrence Hills after Victorian scientist and horticulturist Henry Doubleday

What happens at Potato Day?

DSC_0615 [1600x1200]We sell potatoes for growing!

Well, of course. We get an excited queue forming outside the doors that open at 11am on the day. And the first rush sees a few varieties selling out in the first hour. There will still be plenty to choose from though a little later when the choosing process is much more relaxed. Varieties are arranged alphabetically, so if you want to get particular varieties it’s worth thinking ahead so you can get to your favourites.

Alongside the potatoes, garlic, onions and shallots, there will again be the enticing attraction of Potato Day’s Green Fair showcasing a mix of local cakes, bread, meat and vegetables, alongside plant suppliers and craft workers.

Complementing this commercial activity, we have our free children’s activities, together with advice and information from environment and conservation groups. Not forgetting our own BOG gardening experts who will be on hand.

We hope we’ll see you there!

Potato Day articles

01
MAR
2017

How to choose your potatoes at Potato Day

If you are new to potato growing the number of different potato varieties can be pretty bewildering – so how do you decide which to grow from the 100 or so in front of you? First you need to know that potatoes are divided into three basic groups, based on how long they take to grow. T
15
FEB
2017

What’s in a name?

Early farmers first raised the potato about 8,000 years ago near Lake Titicaca in the Andes, where planting potatoes is still the most important part of the farming year. Here the locals call the potato Mama Jatha, or ‘mother of growth’. The more common name for potatoes, used by Inca
10
FEB
2017

Why bother with “seed potatoes”

The potatoes we sell at our Potato Day are specially grown and inspected to make sure they are fit for us to use for growing our potato crops. They all have a certificate to say that this is so, but why do we go to so much trouble and expense?
09
FEB
2017

Growing potatoes

Having made the difficult choice about which to grow it’s a relief to find that potatoes are quite easy plants to grow, although a little extra care can give better crop. Here are some rules of thumb.
06
FEB
2017

Potato Day Recipes

Here are some tasty potato-based recipes for you to try
Jansson’s Frestelse
Potato Soda Bread
Potato, Leek and Coriander Bake
Potato and Courgette Fritters
02
FEB
2017

Growing potatoes in a bag

You don't need a garden to grow your potatoes; you can grow them in a bag with some compost. Read on for more useful info.
25
JAN
2017

The really useful potato

In a 1998 study, Man on Earth, of how we have adapted to the different places we have colonised on earth, John Reader included a chapter on ‘The Potato Growers’, which shows just how really useful the potato is. Compared to grain growing, worldwide potato growing has a short history –
24
JAN
2017

So you bought seed potatoes – what do you do with them?

Having made the difficult choice about which to grow it’s a relief to find that potatoes are quite easy plants to grow, although a little extra care can give better crop. Here are some rules of thumb.
22
JAN
2017

Why buy new seed potatoes every year?

Why buy new seed potatoes every year? . So you can greatly improve your chances of a good result… decent yields of quality flavoursome home-grown potatoes.
12