Potato Day

Only in Britain--there are one hundred varieties of seed potatoes out there and January 28 was the day to celebrate them. At locations in the countryside and in London, you could buy them, swap them, learn about them and eat them. The potato is stolid and unglamorous, but it has fibre, vitamin C and is low fat. It also grows in all kinds of soils. London's Charity Potato Fair and Seed Exchange is an annual spud party, with more than 100 varieties on show, all grown in Scotland or Ireland. For a small entrance fee, you get a catalogue and the chance to wander around a school hall, pondering the varieties and how they got their names. The "Amour" has "attractive pink eyes"; then there is Maxine, Picasso, Victoria, Verity and good old Yukon Gold. There are mashers, roasters, bakers, chippers, pink spuds, blue spuds, first earlies, second earlies, main and late main—who knew! Not to mention the celebrity contest for best-dressed potato. Exhibitors from organic farms and seed companies are there to give advice about growth, disease and blight. A seed swap has been introduced to encourage gardeners to share packets of home-grown seeds. So many varieties have been lost as the large seed companies focus on fewer and fewer easy-to-grow types. :: London Charity Potato Fair and Seed Exchange via :: Time Out

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