Primary school children, constables, the media and Women’s Institute branches are preparing to sow their seed potatoes as part of the annual Genuine Jersey, Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition. Additional schools have come on board to join this year’s competition and fewer pots will be handed out to encourage more recycling.
The event, which is sponsored by The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, sees children and other Islanders compete to grow the heaviest crop of Jersey Royals and to achieve the highest yield.
Last year, the competition saw the most successful yields on record since the event began in 2006. Potato farmers in Jersey also had a good year of growth in 2019 due to ideal weather conditions. In the coming months, they are hopeful for dry and mild weather for planting the first Jersey Royals of the season.
The competition now has all 32 primary schools on the Island participating in the event, which educates pupils on the importance of healthy eating and growing your own food, as well as learning about fresh, local produce and Jersey’s heritage.
Each competing class receives a free growing kit comprising of two Jersey Royal seed potatoes, compost and fertiliser.
This year, all schools taking part will be judged on the same day. A separate event will follow for the Women’s Institute, Health and Social Services, and constables and media categories.
John Garton, Chief Executive of Genuine Jersey Products Association, said: “Following the success of last year where record yields were achieved, we are extremely excited to get this year’s competition underway. The Jersey Royal remains one of our greatest exports and the fact that people of all ages can enjoy the process of learning, growing and eating them is what makes this community event so appealing. It’s fantastic to see how the competition has evolved over the last 14 years. We’re extremely grateful to have the support of Islanders year on year.”
Mark Cox, acting chief executive officer said: “We’re really pleased to once again support the potato growing competition. It’s a fantastic way to educate future generations and islanders about the important role the Jersey Royal potato has within our island culture and history. Not only that, it serves to highlight the work our local producers and farmers do throughout the year to supply our stores with fresh, local produce.”
In addition to the Co-op as the main sponsor, the competition is also supported by Belles Fleurs Garden & Plant Supplier and The Jersey Royal Company.