Members of the Maquis in La Tresorerie

Members of the Maquis (French Resistance) in 1944 (image from Wikimedia Commons)

For some reason, I picture David Shaw, the energy behind the Welsh-based Sárvári Trust, in the beret-topped garb of a WW2 resistance fighter. In David’s case, however, the enemy (and one of Goliath proportions at that) is potato blight and his weapons of choice are the Sárpo line of potatoes, bred to have high levels of natural blight resistance.

Needless to remark, David was not actually beret-clad when I met him at last week’s Tastefest (though I daresay a beret would have suited him). What he did display, though, was a resistance fighter’s spirit and determination in the face of battle on two fronts, with the ever-adapting scourge of potato blight on the one hand and the struggle to keep the Sárvári Trust funded on the other. He was eager to hear about people’s experiences with Sárpo potatoes and to share his expansive knowledge of potato blight – amassed during some 40 years of study – with all who were willing to listen.

David Shaw at Tastefest

David Shaw of the Sárvári Reseach Trust: a bona fide blight resistance fighter

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