The annual Genuine Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition concluded today [3rd May] with the results being revealed at the Grand Weigh-In event held at St Mary’s Parish hall. Turbulent weather and a colder start to the year may have hampered the size of entrants’ crops, but it did little to dampen the competitive spirit of those involved.
Pupils from St Peter’s School were present to collect their trophies, having won in three categories, a first for the competition. Their Year 6 class scooped the award for most tubers grown with a hefty 52, along with the School winning the highest average bucket weight with 406.91g and largest number of Jersey royals per bucket.
Bel Royal Nursery were the class with the heaviest crop at 1.0629kg, followed closely by Springfield Reception class whose bucket of tubers weighed 829g. Springfield School were also announced as runner up in the average number of potatoes with 27.
Through the competition schools also get to learn about the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet based on fresh local produce at its seasonal best. The event, sponsored by the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, produced a mixed bag of results for its 12th year, with many entrants disappointed to discover no potatoes hidden beneath the soil.
John Garton, Chief Executive Officer of Genuine Jersey said: “As well as getting the community to embrace our famous Jersey Royal, the event demonstrates the importance of farming and its place in the Island. It has been a difficult year for potato farmers, which is shown through the results of the competition. This is even more reason why Islanders should always look to buy local and support our growers whenever possible.”
Joan Thebault of St John’s WI took this year’s prize for highest number of tubers in the Women’s Institute event with 38 Jersey royals, with the weightiest crop going to Gloria Jenkins of St Helier Sirens with 522g.
In the Constable’s competition, Juliette Gallichan of St Mary was top of the table with a bumper crop of 42 potatoes. But her batch was not weighty enough to trump Michael Paddock of St Ouen, whose tubers weighed in at a winning 1.2096kg.
In the media event, Connect magazine reigned triumphant over the nine media entrants winning the highest number of tubers with 33, along with the heaviest crop at 907.9g. They were followed by BBC television who produced 27 royals weighing 552.5g.
In addition to the main sponsor Co-op, the competition is also supported by Belles Fleurs Nursery and The Jersey Royal Company.