Monday, 11 February 2019

East Anglian Potato Day 2019

An old picture from their website.

Now in it's 24th year it's the longest running potato day in the country. It's held every February at Stonham Barns (the place not too far from home where I go for the local boot-sale.). Jointly organised by 3 groups............ Ipswich Organic Gardeners; Suffolk Organic Gardeners and Norfolk Organic Gardeners group.
It's quite a tradition now to go and wait in the long queue for the doors to open and then jostling round the tables to find the varieties of choice, which are all laid out in alphabetical order.

I joined the queue quite late for me and only had to stand in the gusty wind for 10 minutes, but at least the sun was shining and discussing it with a lady standing behind me in the queue we decided that there had never been a Potato Day in pouring rain, snow yes but never anything needing an umbrella. There seemed to be a lot more people there than recent years I reckon it's the Brexit Effect!!

This year the tubers were 17p each and  I bought 6 each of 4 different varieties. 2 first earlies........ Swift and Accord, and 2 second earlies Nadine and Charlotte. 6 is enough for the width of the bed I'm using this year. Not bothering with maincrop as I don't eat many potatoes, so I'll just buy a few at a time the rest of the year. I know nothing about Accord so that will be an interesting trial. The others are all ones we've grown often before.

I've put the first earlies out to chit ready for planting next month and the second earlies in the cold porch so they don't start producing shoots too soon.

I spoke to two people I knew, one had heard about Colin but the other hadn't. It's always difficult because I never know what to say when people didn't know he had died, they are always embarrassed when they don't need to be which makes me feel embarrassed too!

Anyway, Mid Suffolk District Council had their usual stall and I asked about their free bags and had one of the very last. No money now for giving anything away, they used to be sturdy jute, last year and this year- cloth, - next year nothing!

I'd  thought about  doing other stuff on Saturday morning while out but the wind was so strong all I fancied doing was getting home into the warm and watching the rugby. So that's what I did.

Finished a book, started another,  watched rugby and listened to the wind whistling around the chimney.

Back Tomorrow


  1. Reading about your seed potatoes and that you will be chitting them soon gives me a warm, hopeful feeling inside. A sort of 'better times are coming' feeling, even though thingsd are not bad right now. It's nice to feel like that when all around is doom and gloom and Brexit inflicted misery!
    It was VERY windy on Saturday, wasn't it? Going back in and doing warm things sounds perfect.

  2. Also bought some potatoes to grow as well, Swift and Charlotte and I think Arran Pilot. Wasn't going to start chitting them so early but will now.

  3. It was interesting to read about the potatoes.
    We had rain nearly all day yesterday. My daughter and son came yesterday which was like lovely it was good to see how my son was getting on and he is hoping to go back to work. My granddaughter cane round as well, I had a quiet time late afternoon and did some crochet.
    The wind has dropped and it looks has thou it will be a nice day I am going to see it I can buy an Arch for my roses.

    Hazel c uk

  4. An interesting place - we used to have a garden nursery sell their own but it has now become Wyevale - well you can guess the rest - all bought in!
    Everyone is cutting back I think so you might be right about the no bags next year.
    A nice relaxing weekend....sounds wonderful. I feel I have had quite a lazy January and now I don't know if I am coming or going at the moment.

  5. I love the idea of a potato day! I'd probably be tempted to try all the varieties and end up buying too many. Of course, the thought of buying seed potatoes right now is a foreign concept here (oh, ha! I guess it actually is!). -Jenn

  6. We like Charlottes, we grow them every year. We're also trying Albert Bartlett Rooster this year too, didn't buy seed potatoes of those, just using a few leftover ones from the supermarket. Fingers crossed.

  7. What a great idea a potato day. Sounds like you had a quiet relaxing weekend.

  8. Seeing all the seeds and bulbs in the shops is starting to make me think of spring. Hope your potatoes do well.

  9. I am asonished at your enthusiasm Sue - but it will be interesting to compare your potato varieties for taste, texture and the like. This year most of the jacket potatoes I have cooked, regardless of variety, have been what I would call 'mealy'. Probably the weather I guess.

  10. I'm trying to think of the one Tam grew last year which was lovely - Falcon it may have been. Glad you got a good choice AND a free bag. Sounds like it will have to become an heirloom now!

    When we drive to Malvern, on the outskirts of Hereford is a Potato dealer called Geoff Hinksman I think. I presume he is selling by the sack though. A little lane nearly opposite him leads to a farm that sells plums and pears in season. I love the self-sufficiency of Herefordshire.

    The sun was out today and it felt like SPRING! I felt very lamb-like to get this first hint of the season to come.

  11. I tried potatoes once. I didn't do too well. Sigh. Maybe another year. I'm glad you had a good time. Mum said it wasn't very nice out.

  12. My, my we won't even be thinking about gardening for awhile yet. Snowing again today. Glad you had a nice day out and about too bad the weather wasn't better.

    God bless.

    God bless.

  13. We have a small garden here each summer with tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans, and cucumbers. Have never tried potatoes, but carrots didn't do well. Nothing goes in the ground here until the end of May when all chance of frost is gone. Potato Day is something I've never heard of before!