Border Organic Gardeners Potato Day and Green Fair is one of the biggest potato days in the country and very possibly the oldest one still running every year. Even better, we are one of the cheapest too!
The year we celebrated our 25th anniversary. We were able to get hold of certified disease-free seed potatoes from 100 varieties. Tubers were still only 20p each. We even had some of the famous Edzell Blue and Yetholm Gipsy this year too.
Enjoy the delights of the Green Fair with local food producers, crafts and information. World experts Alan Romans and John Marshall were hand as well as BOG volunteers to advise and assist. Caroline’s Cafe from Kelso provides excellent snacks and lunches. Even your children can be entertained with activities.
Potato Day is usually on the first Sunday in March each year. We open the doors at the Borders Event Centre, Kelso at 11am and start wrapping up at 3pm. Free parking too!
What IS Potato Day?
First a bit of history. A little over 20 or so years ago, as part of the HDRA’s (now Garden Organic) commitment to biodiversity, the first Potato Day was held at their base, Ryton Gardens near Coventry. This was the brainchild of Jackie Gear MBE, formerly joint director, with husband Alan of HDRA to provide an opportunity for people to choose from as many varieties as possible when buying their seed potatoes, and be able to buy them in small quantities if they wanted to squeeze several varieties into a small space – seed potatoes being traditionally sold in bags of 30 or more tubers.
Several local organic gardening groups including us here at BOG (and latterly allotments, other gardening groups and garden centres) around the country picked up on the idea, with Borders Organic Gardeners being one of the first. BOG’s potato day remains one of the largest and busiest in the country.
Little known fact:
HDRA stands for Henry Doubleday Research Association, named by founder Lawrence Hills after Victorian scientist and horticulturist Henry Doubleday
What happens at Potato Day?
We sell potatoes for growing!
Well, of course. We get an excited queue forming outside the doors that open at 11am on the day. And the first rush sees a few varieties selling out in the first hour. There will still be plenty to choose from though a little later when the choosing process is much more relaxed. Varieties are arranged alphabetically, so if you want to get particular varieties it’s worth thinking ahead so you can get to your favourites.
Alongside the potatoes, garlic, onions and shallots, there will again be the enticing attraction of Potato Day’s Green Fair showcasing a mix of local cakes, bread, meat and vegetables, alongside plant suppliers and craft workers.
Complementing this commercial activity, we have our free children’s activities, together with advice and information from environment and conservation groups. Not forgetting our own BOG gardening experts who will be on hand.
We hope we’ll see you there!