Cliodhna Mulhern, a Halton resident, writes about Lancaster’s upcoming Potato Day.
January is here and Potato Day 2018 is just around the corner. Lancaster’s Annual Potato Day is an event like no other. From 11am to 3pm on Saturday 27 January Friends Meeting House will be bustling and buzzing with enthusiasts and first-timers, families and friends engaged in all manner of potato and growing activities.
Every year Potato Day gets bigger and better offering us more stalls and activities. And every year the people pile in with the meeting house getting busier and busier from early in the day. Entry is free to all. So roll up early to avoid disappointment.
The quirky centre-piece of the day is the vast spread of seed potatoes on sale – 27 varieties this year. Flakey, floury, waxy, salad, baking, boiling, roasting – whatever you fancy, there will be a seed potato for you.
Gardeners and allotmenteers queue up to buy their favourite varieties and to find out about some new ones. Beside them small children line up to buy just two seed potatoes to plant in a bucket or bag in their yard or on their balcony. Potatoes are easy to grow and you can grow them just about anywhere. Lancaster is turning into a city of spud growers. If you are a first timer, experienced volunteers are near to hand to share a few hints and tips and to help you on your way.
But the day is about far more than potatoes. You can borrow tools, learn to sew, stock up on herbal medicines and potions, learn about beekeeping and woodland crafts; become a Forest Friend and find out what good growing projects are happening near you. You can also buy local heritage apple trees.
An absolute essential of every busy Potato Day is a good lunch, provided again this year by Lancaster’s own People’s Café. The People’s Café weaves culinary magic every time by gathering in food that would otherwise go to waste and cooking up delicious meals for everyone. Served up on a pay-as-you-feel basis, it means there is no set price for lunch. Quite simply, the food is offered to us ‘the people’ and we donate what we feel able to donate. All funds go towards supporting the People’s Café work.
So you see there are lots of reasons to pop into Potato Day on Saturday 27 January 11am – 3pm at Friends Meeting House– the lunch, the seed potatoes, the stalls, the company, the buzz…and it happens just once a year.