— Aoife Mc (@icanhascook) January 26, 2013
I do hate to miss a good party, especially where spuds are involved.
Over the last couple of days, twitter has successfully reminded me of what exactly I’ve been missing by not being in the U.K., where (as the newspaper snippet in the tweet above indicated) they were celebrating National Potato Day. Another tweet on Friday from Kaethe Burt O’Dea – a.k.a. @spudsireland – asked simply “Why aren’t U here?” – here being at the (apparently weekend long) 20th National Potato Day organised by Garden Organic. The charity, who promote organic growing, were the first to start holding potato days in the U.K. back in in 1994, giving growers access to a wider variety of seed tubers and generally promoting and celebrating the diversity of the spud. Similar events are now held in various locations across the U.K. at this time of year, when gardeners’ thoughts turn to the new growing season.
Though travelling to the U.K. in the name of the spud is not, for me, without precedent, it was not to be this year. Fortunately, though we have much less in the way of such events on this side of the Irish sea, spud anoraks like myself do have a few potato outings to look forward to.
The Organic Centre in Leitrim will, of course, be holding their annual potato shindig on Sunday March 10th, which, this year, incorporates their Spring into the Garden event, with advice on seeds, sowing and soil preparation, along with demonstrations, talks and not a few spuds (and, yes, I went last year, the year before, the year before that and, well, the year before that too). News has also reached my ears that Saturday March 23rd will see the return of potato day to Sonairte, the National Ecology Centre in Co. Meath, who held their first such event in 2011. If you have even half a mind to plant some potatoes this year (and sure why wouldn’t you?) then either, or both, of these events will be well worth getting along to.