Genuine Jersey’s annual Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition is back for 2020.
It's week four of the annual Genuine Jersey Jersey Royal Growing Competition, which your Society has sponsored for the past six years, and we have been back to Springfield School to see how the children are getting on.
All 32 primary schools in Jersey, parish constables, the media and WI branches are taking part in the competition. Each group was given a bucket, two Jersey Royal seed potatoes, compost and fertiliser.
The competition sees primary school children and islanders compete to grow the heaviest crop of Jersey Royals and to achieve the highest yield.
The event educates island children about the importance of healthy eating and growing their own food, as well as learning about fresh, local produce and Jersey’s heritage.
Meet some of those taking part
Over the next ten weeks we will be following pupils at Springfield Schools’ to see how their potatoes are coming on. We took a trolley load of buckets, compost and seed potatoes to them and wished them well.
Pupils from every year at the school will be taking part in the competition and each class has their own bucket of potatoes to try and grow.
It’s week four of the Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition and some buckets at Springfield School are showing signs of potatoes and others are not …
There have been various methods used with some of the children keeping them inside next to the window, and others opting to brave the weather keeping them outside.
Children from each year group are competing against each other to see which class can grow the most and the heaviest potatoes.
Winning the race so far are year two.
Week four and the pupils are trying different tactics ...
Kudan, a year two pupil, said: ‘We kept our potatoes inside for the last two weeks and they have done really well. I have been checking on them every single day to see if they are growing.’
Some pupils have even taken to speaking to their potatoes in the hope it will encourage them to grow.
Amari, a year two pupil, said: ‘I tried counting the leaves to see how many potatoes were in our bucket but there were too many and it didn’t work. I have been talking to the potatoes but we have to be quiet if they are sleeping. We don’t want to wake them up when they are trying to grow.’
The children are battling out against island primary schools and Anthea Carroll, deputy head teacher at Springfield School, is hoping some of their pupils will beat off competition from the rural parishes. Around 98 per cent of pupils at the school have no access to outdoor space at home.
Year three pupil, Caspar said: ‘I have been watering them twice a day but when it’s raining I leave them. I think we are going to keep them inside now next to the window.’
Thianna, a year five student, said: ‘I think there are only about ten potatoes in our bucket. I say ‘hi’ to them every morning and check how they are doing. I’m looking forward to eating them when they have all grown.’
Lots of excited children – who have been named the Kings and Queens of Potatoes - got their hands dirty and covered their seed potatoes with compost and ‘magic dust’ [fertiliser.]
Anthea Carroll, deputy head teacher of Springfield School, said: ‘It’s really important, as a town school, that we do things like this and teach the children about growing.
‘Around 98 per cent of our pupils don’t have any access at home to an outdoor area so it’s so important we get the children outside. Every class is taking part and we run an internal competition as well to see who can grow the most and the heaviest potatoes.’
Amari, aged 7, said: ‘I love Jersey Royals and I am really excited to start growing some at school. I’m going to check on them every day.’