Crop crunch day

More than 180 schoolchildren from Suffolk will descend on Trinity Park today to find out the results of the National Potato Council’s ‘Grow Your Own Potatoes’ competition.

The schoolchildren first visited Trinity Park in March to learn about growing and harvesting potatoes, taking part in a series of workshops run by local farmers. They then planted their crop, in the hope of growing the heaviest potatoes.

Farmers John Taylor and Helen Micklesen will harvest their crop to show how it’s done, then pupils harvest theirs. The group growing the heaviest potatoes wins a trip to a farm.

Suffolk Agricultural Association became involved in the contest last year.

Once the children have harvested their potatoes, Steve Carroll, the chef from Trinity Park, will speak to them about which foods come from potatoes and their nutritional value. The children then make their own potato salad to eat for their lunch.

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The initiative aims to teach young people how potatoes are grown and harvested through an interactive challenge to see who can grow the biggest potatoes. It has also been designed to help children learn more about healthy eating and nutrition, giving them an insight into the role of the potato as part of a balanced diet.

Suffolk Agricultural Association became involved in 2011 when the potato council started to work with Agricultural Associations across the country with the aim of encouraging them to work closely with local schools that enter the national competition.

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