Last year more than 7,500 children, parish Constables and hundreds of WI stalwarts took part in the Genuine Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition – and the organisation that promotes home-grown produce and products hopes it will be even more popular in 2018.
‘For many this competition is the highlight of their social calendar and a great, fun event that brings together thousands of Islanders of all ages,’ Genuine Jersey chief executive John Garton said.
‘As well as celebrating the Jersey Royal, this is a chance to educate people about the benefits of a healthy diet, growing their own vegetables and supporting local Jersey producers. There is a great deal of pride linked to Jersey Royal potatoes and it is important that we pass this down to younger generations.’
The competition – which runs from this month until May, the time it takes to grow the potatoes – is sponsored by the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, with the support of Genuine Jersey members, Belles Fleurs Garden Consultancy and the Island’s largest potato grower and exporter, The Jersey Royal Company.
‘The competition always brings a great furore to the Island and the Co-op is thrilled to once again be associated with the event,’ Co-op chief executive Colin Macleod said.
‘As a retailer, we are eager to support our local producers wherever possible and are immensely proud of the place that Jersey Royals take on our shelves.’
Each competitor receives a growing kit comprising two Jersey Royal seed potatoes, polystyrene chips, compost and fertiliser – and a bucket to grow them in. Entries are judged against two sets of criteria, the weight of the ‘crop’ and the number of tubers. The top prizes in 2017 went to D’Auvergne School, St Lawrence Constable Deirdre Mezbourian and Trinity WI, with Gallery magazine tying with ITV Channel in the media category.