onE of the highlights of the local gardener’s year takes place at the Borders Union Showground in Kelso from 11am on Sunday.
The popular Potato Day is organised by Borders Organic Gardeners (BOG) and offers certified seed tubers of more than 130 varieties of Britain’s most popular vegetable.
Many of them are organically-produced heritage varieties, some of them are old favourites, and some are New World varieties that many people will not have tasted.
With more than 500 members, BOG is Britain’s biggest organic group and is primarily a charity.
Potato tubers are sold individually and BOG has managed to hold down prices to last year’s level, 13p each, much cheaper than most shops and garden centres and a choice of 10 times the varieties that rivals offer.
In addition, onion and shallot sets as well as garlic corms are on sale in time for planting this month and stands selling seeds, garden sundries, craft items and organic or locally-produced foods will be jostling with the tatties for space under cover in the main hall.
One of the major attractions of Potato Day is the range of information and advice on offer: this year’s top lectures feature George Anderson, head of education at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and president of the Caledonian Garden Society, and international potato expert Alan Romans, who will bring news of the tattie world’s latest developments.
Then at 1.30pm George will join fellow experts David Catt of BOG, potato and seeds seller John Marshall and Kenneth Cox (co-author of Garden Plants for Scotland) for a BOG question time panel which will answer questions from the audience.
There is so much to see and do that organisers are confident that the four-hour show – it closes at 3pm – will keep thousands of visitors and their children entertained and fed (there’s a super refreshment service serving scrumptious tattie dishes) for the whole afternoon.
BOG Potato Day and Green Fair, Sunday, March 6, 11am-3pm; Border Union Showground, Springwood Park, Kelso; entry £1, under-16s free; acres of free parking.