Re: [pfaf] 7th Hampshire Potato day Jan 29 & 30 2005 - Forwarded
- Great to hear about the Potato Day and I hope very much that the excellent idea of holding such an event will spread and take place in all corners of the country. Wonder if all you potato growers have heard of a book called "The Botany of Desire: A Plants eye view of the world" by Michael Pollan (2001), which I would highly recommend as a really well written book, a quarter of which is dedicated to the history ( etc.) of growing potatoes. Good read for those wintry nights.The book explores the idea of co-evolution between plants and their users. Plants have evolved intelligently to make use of other creatures to help to propagate them. Bees and the flowers who attract them are a good example and us humans of course. Do many plants respond to human growers by developing qualities which we particularly like and desire, such as sweet juicy apples, amazing flowers, mind bending bud and as buttery tasting potatoes?
Michael Pollan, an enthousiastic gardener himself, explores this theme by researching the history of the apple, the tulip, the cannabis plant and the potato. Not only does he explore the issues around GM potatoes, but there are also some interesting insights in potato farming in its native South American mountains and the extraordinary influence the potato had on Ireland. First allowing it to expand its population due to this new staple food which could be grown so relatively easily in the coldish damp climate, then the event of the famine when the blight struck the "lumper", which was alas the only potato variety grown and very susceptible.If we ever would have to depend mostly on our own home-produced food in the British Isles in a post-oil era, the potato would probably be called upon to fulfil a key role. Having a large amount of different varieties is a real treasure.Anna Fraser----- Original Message -----From: Phil SladeTo: SussexGardenerCc: Dick Churcher ; KIm Turner ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; GardeningBrightonandHove ; GardeningSussex-UKSent: Friday, November 12, 2004 10:06 PMSubject: [pfaf] 7th Hampshire Potato day Jan 29 & 30 2005 - ForwardedForwarded message
Forgive me if you consider this an intrusion, but I have found your e-mail
address on the internet as being connected with a gardening group and wanted
to let you know about the 7th Hampshire Potato Day.
If you haven't heard of Potato Days before, they were started by the HDRA
(the UK's largest organic gardening group) over 10 years ago with the aim of
keeping as many varieties of potato available to the public. The Hampshire
event has had 6 successful years and had just over 1,000 visitors earlier
Full details of the day are on my group's website at
http://www.hhdra.org.uk/potatoday.htm but in outline we will have over 120
varieties of potato for sale (with some 25 or so of the varieties also
available as organically grown seed tubers), the bags are open so you can
buy as little as 1 tuber (priced <15p each) to try something new, or (if you
know what you want) there are also 2.5kg nets. We are not trying to compete
with allotment trading huts and similar organisations, rather to make some
other varieties available to members of groups that they would not otherwise
find on sale. We have had coach trips from groups around the South and they
all seem to enjoy the occasion.
As the group makes no profit from the potato sales, we have to charge for
entry (£2 per adult) to cover the cost of hiring the hall but, to make the
day into an event, we have an expert on hand who grows nearly 400 varieties
(and has an RHS Gold Medal for his displays), talks from a lecturer at
Sparsholt Agricultural and Horticultural College and (potato) cookery
demonstrations. We have activities for children to keep them occupied while
Mum/Dad are busy and this year we have a free red/white smiling potato for
each of them (there's a picture on the website). There are stalls with other
items of (we think) interest and a large selection of beans and pea seeds
and onion and shallot sets.
The event takes place in Whitchurch, Hampshire, just off the A34 so we're
easy to get to, between 10am and 3pm on 29th and 30th January 2005.
Thank you for your time.
If you don't want to hear any more about the Hampshire Potato Day please
just send this email back and I won't bother you again