Recent years have seen a boom in grow-your-own potatoes, and year on year the Potato Day held in Mold attracts a growing number of gardeners from across the region. Visitors from as far afield as Bangor and Nantwich came to Town last Saturday to buy their seed potatoes, vegetable seeds, fruit trees, garlic and onion sets.
Matthew Smith from Brighter Blooms Nursery who sells the seed potatoes said he was very pleased with how the day had gone and that it had been his best Potato Day held in Mold. “The most popular potato today has been ‘Charlotte’, and I’m not surprised as it is a very reliable seed potato and grows for everyone. Vegetable seeds have also flown off the shelf and sales of them have done very well”. Matthew was on hand during the event to give advice and to welcome customers, many of whom were returning again to the annual event.
Several members of Broughton Allotments were early customers and said how impressed they were with the extensive choice of over 80 different varieties of seed potatoes at the annual Potato Day in Mold. Being able to buy small quantities gave them the opportunity to try out new varieties and, by staggering out planting, it is possible to prolong the harvest period from May, all the way to November.
Clifford Owen came to the Potato Day from Moel Y Ci community owned farm in Tregarth near Bangor. Set up in 2003, Moel Y Ci was one of the UK’s first community owned farms, and has inspired people here in Flintshire to get involved in community growing – to produce good food, using sustainable methods and as part of a friendly community.
Potatoes are easy and rewarding to grow and really versatile in the kitchen. But because they are propagated vegetatively any disease from the previous year will be carried over, which is why it is so important to grow disease-free seed potatoes (grown in sterile soil), rather than supermarket potatoes.
The event this year was jointly organised by Plant Heritage, North Wales, and local community growing group FlintShare, with Matthew Smith providing the seed potatoes. If you’d like to find out more about community food growing, FlintShare are holding an Open Day at their Hawarden site on Saturday 18 February from 9am to 2pm. The site is next to Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, CH5 3FB – everyone is welcome to pop in and see how FlintShare grows together. For more information please phone 07960 816870.