Green-fingered pupils at a primary school in Croscombe have won the top prize for schools in the South West after growing a bumper crop in the Potato Council’s Grow Your Own Potatoes competition – the heaviest crop in the South West region.
Pupils at Croscombe CE Primary School in Long Street were among over one million other schoolchildren who took part in the annual competition. They grew 3.1kg of Piccolo Star potatoes from their three seed potatoes, winning a fantastic Marmax outdoor bench for their school.
Schools across the UK grow two different potato varieties for the competition – one for the national category and one to compete at the regional level. Branston, one of the UK’s largest potato companies, has provided the seed potatoes for the past three years for the 3,000 schools in the South West region from its seed division. Branston Seed supplied Piccolo Star seed – a high-yielding second-early Salad variety.
Ian Wait, general manager of Branston’s South West site, said: “Congratulations to the children at Croscombe CE Primary School on their winning crop. Branston has been involved in the UK Potato Council’s Grow Your Own Potatoes scheme for many years now and it’s been really rewarding to see local children learning about potatoes; how they are grown and how they fit into a healthy diet.
“I hope the children at Croscombe CE Primary School enjoy their brand new Marmax junior rainbow bench and they carry on enjoying potatoes.”
Schools that registered for the competition were sent a kit in March containing the two different varieties of seed potatoes, growing bags and full instructions. Registration is now open to schools for the 2014 Grow Your Own Potatoes competition.
Sue Lawton, Potato Council education co-ordinator, said: “Grow Your Own Potatoes is our biggest educational project. To date it has benefited over two million children who have loved learning all about how potatoes grow and ways in which they can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
“It’s success is greatly helped by the support of suppliers such as Branston, who not only donate seed potatoes to ensure that schools throughout the country get different varieties to grow but also provide practical hands-on help and advice where needed. We’re delighted that schools in the South West had such good results with their potato varieties and in particular, pupils at Croscombe Primary who harvested a magnificent crop of Piccolo Star potatoes to win a brand new bench for their playground. We hope they enjoy it and the Grow Your Own Potatoes project for many years to come.”