THE FIRST SE ESSEX POTATO DAY!
Leigh-on-Sea Allotment & Leisure Garden Association
in association with
SE Essex Organic Gardeners
and kindly hosted by Trust Links
Fifteen years ago, as part of the HDRA’s (now Garden Organic) commitment to biodiversity, the first Potato Day was held, the brainchild of Jackie Gear MBE.
It has now grown to a major event attracting thousands of visitors to Ryton.
Several local organic groups (and latterly allotments, other gardening groups and garden centres) have picked up on the idea.
Ours was a joint effort, both financially and otherwise, organised and run entirely by volunteers from the Leigh-on-Sea Allotment & Leisure Garden Association, in conjunction with Julian Turner, organiser of the East Anglia Potato Day, and kindly hosted by Trust Links.
Julian warned us straightaway that the first lesson we would learn would be the weight of the stock and that we needed to accept that setting up took time and oomph!
We offered over thirty varieties (one third organic), which we sold by the tuber.
Well, it rained persistently all day, and the gazebo was challenging at the beginning, but everyone was pleased with the result.
On the day, we took £45.00 on Alan Romans’ booklets, £112.00 admission fees (112 people), £320.70 on potato tubers, making a total of £477.70.
Anji Stratton, Trust Links’ Training and Employment Co-ordinator, very kindly supplied welcome refreshments during the event.
As our ‘residual stock was significant but not intimidating’ we decided to try our luck at the Leigh Farmers’ Market, followed by a few more gallant efforts during the next few weekends at the Leigh clubhouse until Robert Wiseman carted the remaining tubers off to his local car boot sale for us!
We say THANK YOU TO everyone who made this happen, especially Audrey, Barbara and Alan and, of course, to Phil Cooper for including our event in his website potatoday.org