Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

ROYAL COMPETITORS UNDER STARTERS ORDERS

Distributing the kits for the potato growers from Homefields: L-R Catherine Conway (Homefields); Eli Hopton (Community & Sustainability Manager, C.I. Co-Op; John Garton, Genuine Jersey; Trevor Le Brun (Homefields)

The annual Genuine Jersey, Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition launches this month. The event, which is sponsored by the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, sees green fingered school children from all 33 Primary Schools, Constables, the local media and branches of The Women’s Institute compete to grow the heaviest crop of Jersey Royals and to achieve the highest yield.

Each competitor receives a free growing kit consisting of two Jersey Royal seed potatoes, compost and fertiliser. In an effort to reduce plastic, competitors are being encouraged to reuse containers to grow their potatoes. In total 327 growing kits will be delivered by local wholesalers Homefields on Tuesday 9th February.

The competition enables primary school pupils to learn about the importance of eating well and experience the pleasure of growing their own food, as well as educating them about fresh, local produce and Jersey’s heritage. This year, due to current Covid restrictions, all schools taking part are being asked to 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 20 May at St Clement Parish Hall, where the weighing in of the media and Parish Constables’ entries will take place.

Those taking part are being encouraged to document the journey of their crop by posting photos of them on social media and using the #MyJerseyRoyals, so everyone can follow their progress ahead of judgement day on Tuesday 18 May.

John Garton, chief executive of Genuine Jersey Products Association, said: ‘This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Genuine Jersey, Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition. Each year more than 7,000 Primary school children in Jersey take part and get to experience first-hand the satisfaction of watching something they have planted grow, which is incredibly rewarding.

‘The Jersey Royal remains one of the Island’s most important 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 fantastic and we love to see how involved people get each year.’

Mark Cox, chief executive officer Channel Islands Cooperative Society said: ‘We look forward to the Genuine Jersey Royal Potato Growing competition every year.  Being involved in a campaign which highlights our unique produce, as well as the local producers who help to supply our stores, is particularly important.’

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