Home produce on the menu

There has never been a better nor more important time for gardeners to get into home food production than on the eve of Britain’s departure from the EU, say Borders Organic Gardeners (BOG).

Friday, 1st March 2019, 10:42 am
Borders potato expert John Marshall with two Peruvia growers during his recent trip to Peru.

Following Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s warning that there is a risk of UK food prices going up in the event of a no-deal Brexit, BOG chairman Ilona McDowell urged anyone with a piece of garden or even a window box to come along to BOG’s annual Potato Day and Green Fair at Springwood Park, Kelso, this Sunday from11am to 3pm.

“It is the UK’s oldest, biggest and cheapest sale of seed potatoes, Britain’s favourite staple food, and with the threat of tariffs increasing costs of all sorts of imported food, growing the simple and nutritious tattie at home is a great way to save money,” said Ilona.

An astonishing 97 varieties of both early and maincrop potatoes – 31 of them organic varieties – will be on sale in the main hall of the Borders Union Showground at just 20p per tuber, cheaper than seed catologues and local gardening centres are offering, and enabling gardeners to purchase the exact number and varieties of tubers they require.

To help newcomers, a team of potato experts led by well-known tattie celebs Alan Romans and John Marshall will be on hand with advice a-plenty.

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All of the varieties, clearly marked and laid out for visitors to select and serve themselves, are supplied with recommendations for best use: Mashing, chipping, salad potatoes and so on. Plus lots of friendly advice from BOG volunteers.

But there is much more to Britain’s biggest Potato Day extravaganza: the Green Fair offers 25 supporters’ stalls such as Woodside Garden Centre, Peelham Farm and Bread and Roses from Alnwick alongside a good spread of suppliers offering fruit juice, honey, cheeses, and remedies and aromas as well as hardware and arts and crafts stalls.

If all of that’s not worth the £1.50 entrance there is also a cafeteria offering delicious, warming potato-themed dishes and a variety of drinks.

BOG Potato Day, traditional start to the spring growing season, promises a fine day out: hard or soft Brexit, deal or no deal, there is no better deal to be had in the Borders!