HUGE CROWDS AT SONAIRTE FOR POTATO DAY – SECOND WEEK IN MARCH 2011

Still a bit cold for the sowing of most veg in the garden. This was the perfect excuse to head for Sonairte, the National Ecology Centre between Julianstown and Laytown in East Meath for their first ever Potato Day last Sunday 6th March.

Dave Langford who had built up and nurtured a brilliant collection of over 180 potato varieties and Dermot Carey, the well known head gardener from Lissadell’s walled garden were there to help Kathy Marsh and the Sonairte team present the case for ‘potato-worship’. The excitement among the huge crowd was almost giddy, a little like the first rush at a January sale! Seed potatoes were selling between 20c and 50c each.

With my small garden, I like to grow one potato seed in each growing bag to keep separate and compare the taste and flavour of each variety come harvest time. I was dubbed by Professor Michael Marsh as the ‘last of the big spenders’! While others were stacking up stocks, I as a very very ‘small farmer’ was buying one seed of each variety.

As each little tuber looks similar to others, I wrote the variety name on each one I bought. I can now identify each seed potato and label each growing bag. Sharpe’s Express, Queen, Colleen, Charlotte, Orla, etc. Is there some deep psychological reasons why so many potato varieties are named after women? There is another one called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, but that is another story.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by margaret scally on April 15, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Hi Trevor,
    Charlotte is a delicious nutty potato you’ll love it. Delicious, and unmistakeable, lovely yelow colour.
    Enjoy.

    Reply

    • Thanks Margaret,
      Good to hear your experience of the variety ‘Charlotte’. I look forward to my first taste as you describe it.

      Happy growing,
      Trevor

      Reply

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