Anna Clayton column

Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.
Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.
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On Saturday, January 31, from 11-3pm, Transition City Lancaster is hosting Lancaster’s annual Potato Day at the Friends Meeting House, next to the train station.

It’s a fantastic and free event that celebrates the potato in all its forms: as a seed, cooked and decorated.

Nineteen varieties of organic seed potatoes will be on sale at cost price (just 20p each.)

There will be a potato themed café; children’s activities and lots of stalls.

Liz’s swap stall will be there for anyone bringing jams, preserves or chutneys to swap, and a potato recipe corner will allow people to share favourite spud recipes.

If you want to find out about growing potatoes, a range of short films will be shown and people will be on hand for you to talk with.

If you fancy an apple tree, there will also be local heritage varieties for sale.

So, why does Transition go to so much trouble for the potato?

Samagita, from Transition City Lancaster explains: “Home grown potatoes straight from the ground are totally delicious and you don’t even need an allotment or a garden.

“Potatoes grow quite happily in a bucket in a back yard.

“Anyone who doesn’t have a backyard or who wants to grow more spuds than will fit into a bucket could join the ‘spud club’ at Claver Hill community farm.

“People contribute some digging and weeding in return for spuds and other vegetables.

“Check out Claver Hill’s Facebook page for more details: www.facebook.com/ClaverHill?ref=br_tf

“Potato day offers a


wide range of potatoes, with wonderful names like Bambino and Sarpo Mira.

“You would struggle to buy the range we offer in shops at affordable prices.

“You can also buy just one each of several different potato varieties- to find out which are your favourites.

“One seed potato can grow five or more eating potatoes depending on the variety and how big a space it can grow in.

“The more potatoes we grow locally in Lancaster District, the fewer lorry loads are needed to come from Scotland, or even shipped from Jersey and Cyprus.

“That makes for a much smaller carbon footprint for every potato we eat.

“Potato Day is hosted every January as the time to plant seed potatoes is once the frosts have finished.

“It’s best to buy them early and let them sprout (chit), before planting them outside.

“For more info on Potato Day visit www.transitioncitylancaster.org or just pop along for a chat. Everyone is welcome.”