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Ed Leahy


Young spuds get back to their roots

Primary school children were invited onto a Perthshire potato farm to discover the backstory to the great British potato

Young spuds get back to their roots

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Potato growers Bruce Farms opened their doors to primary school students this week to learn about all things potatoes.

Children from Meigle, Balbeggie and Robert Douglas Memorial schools spent the day learning about machinery and technology used to farm potatoes, as well as nutrition, soils and varieties.

The event was part of the AHDB’s Strategic Farm programme, which aims to show children the importance and nutrition of potatoes, with top Edinbirgh chef Carina Contini also giving a masterclass in how to prepare them. 

Event co-organiser, Alix Ritchie from RHET, said: "The pupils gained a real insight into all aspects of potato growing and production and it was a great way to help children make the links about where their food comes. 

"They learned through hands-on activities how science, technology, engineering and maths play an integral role in food production."

Children spent 25 minutes at six different stations, including a drone demo, supplied by Soil Essntials, which took photos of a potato crop, as well as exploing the effect of soil quality on potaoto farming, and the new machinery used by growers.

The event was supported by other local companies including Branston, Soil Essentials, Strathisla Farms and WCF Horticulture.

Farm manager Kerr Howatson led the machinery session on the day. He said: "It was a great day, the children were really engaged with all the sessions and we even managed to convert a few who claimed not to like potatoes after they tasted Carina's gnocchi."

Chef Carina Contini, who co-owns three restaurants in Edinburgh, added: "The sun was shining and Perthshire was looking like a sparkly diamond of our agricultural heart lands. The children were amazing. They were so engaged, inquisitive, attentive and happy. It was wonderful to see first-hand the amazing work that RHET and all the incredible volunteers do to share our real food heritage with the next generations. It really was a potato farm to fork (and tummy) day!"

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