Grow your own spuds to beat no-deal Brexit

Borders tattie expert John Marshall added to his sphere of tattie knowledge on a recent trip tio Peru ... now he wants to share it with you.
Borders tattie expert John Marshall added to his sphere of tattie knowledge on a recent trip tio Peru ... now he wants to share it with you.

With the increasing risk of higher food prices following a no-deal Brexit, there’s never been a better time to grow your own.

Environment secretary Michael Gove warned on Sunday’s BBC1 Andrew Marr Show that there is a real possibility of the price of your weekly shop going up if Britain left the EU without a deal.

So Borders Organic Gardeners (BOG) chairwoman Ilona McDowell has urged anyone with a piece of garden or even a window box to come along to BOG’s annual Potato Day and Green Fair at Springwood Park, Kelso this Sunday, March 3, from 11am-3pm.

“It is the UK’s oldest, biggest and cheapest sale of seed potatoes, Britain’s favourite staple food,” said Ilona, “and with the threat of tariffs increasing costs of all sorts of imported food, growing the simple and nutritious ‘tattie’ at home is a great way to save money.”

An astonishing 97 varieties of both early and maincrop potatoes – 31 of them organic varieties – will be on sale in the main hall of the Borders Union Showground at just 20p per tuber – cheaper than seed catologues and local gardening centres are offering – enabling gardeners to purchase the exact number and varieties of tubers they require.

To help newcomers, a team of potato experts, led by well-known ‘tattie celebs’ Alan Romans and John Marshall (who recently spent time in Peru, home of our humble solanum tuberosum) will be on hand with advice a-plenty.

All of the varieties, clearly marked and laid out for visitors to select and serve themselves, are supplied with recommendations for best use: mashing, chipping, salad potatoes and so on.

The Green Fair offers 25 supporters’ stalls such as Woodside Garden Centre, Peelham Farm and Bread and Roses from Alnwick, alongside a good spread of suppliers offering fruit juice, honey, cheeses, and remedies and aromas as well as hardware and arts and crafts stalls.

And with a £1.50 entrance fee, whether Brexit is deal or no deal, there is no better deal to be had in the Borders!