Local wholesalers Homefields have begun the mammoth task of delivering hundreds of growing kits to local primary schools to, once again, allow them to take part in the Genuine Jersey, Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition.
Each competitor receives a free growing kit consisting of two Jersey Royal seed potatoes, which have this year been sourced from MasterFarms, soil from Infrastructure, Housing and Environment’s green waste facility and fertiliser. In total 327 growing kits will be delivered by sponsors Homefields on Tuesday 7th February.
The annual competition provides Primary school pupils with a fun, but important, introduction to growing fresh, local produce and, of course, an opportunity to learn about Jersey’s heritage. They also learn about the importance of eating well as they experience the satisfaction of growing their own food.
John Garton, Chief Executive of Genuine Jersey Products Association, said: “This year sees us adding another layer of locality to our competition as rather than using compost shipped in we have worked with the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment team to source soil processed from their green waste facility. It’s fantastic to be including another one of our Genuine Jersey Members in the competition
The Jersey Royal continues to be one of the island's most important exports and we love to see the continued, in fact growing, interest in the competition year on year. It’s simply fantastic to see so many people of all ages enjoying the process of growing their own food. ”
Paul Conway, Director of Homefields said: “Last year was a real baptism of fire for us as we had to put together all of the kits and then deliver them to the competitors and we thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to do it all again this year. For us, the feelings of excitement of being involved in a competition which allows young people to learn about the importance of fresh and local produce, and the island's agricultural heritage can’t be beaten.”
All schools taking part will weigh their own potatoes on the same day and send in their results, which will be uploaded to a dedicated area on www.genuinejersey.je. The winners in each of the schools categories will be presented with their certificates on Thursday 18th May at St Lawrence’s Parish Hall, where the weighing in of the media and Parish Constable’s entries will take place.
The Occupation VIPs are once again joining the green fingered school children from all 33 Primary Schools, Parish Constables, the local media and branches of The Women’s Institute to compete to grow the heaviest crop of Jersey Royals and to achieve the highest yield.