Bord Bia and GIY have launched a competition to dig up Roscommon’s biggest Spudlover and crown Ireland’s Top Tuber.
Picture Credit: Patrick Browne
GIYers and budding Spud growers are now invited to sow their potatoes and join in ‘SpudLove 2016’, an initiative which is encouraging Irish communities to fall in love with the spud all over again by hosting a local ‘Spud Off’ competition, with the aim of finding the country’s favourite spud.
SpudLove 2016 is a fun way to learn how to grow a wonderful variety of Irish potatoes with a Spud Off Tool Kit devised to ensure even the greenest of growers can’t go wrong! Following the harvesting of your potatoes hosting a ‘Spud Off’ is a great excuse to get everyone together and enjoy a summer party while deciding who has grown the best spud in your community, based on taste, texture and general spudtasticness.
According to founder of GIY Michael Kelly, this is the ideal time to sow your potatoes and summer is the ideal time to plan a ‘Spud Off’ competition when the tubers will be ready for harvesting. “Potatoes are my absolute favourite thing to grow. They are really straightforward – stick a spud in the ground and it turns in to a plant that produces 10-12 spuds. Simple as that. Harvesting the first new potatoes is always my top moment of the growing year, and I love that I get to try lots of different varieties of this wonderfully diverse vegetable.”
Expanding on the details of their support for the national campaign with Bord Bia which aims to get Irish people back in love with the spud again, Michael said, “Potatoes have had a bit of a hard time of late and lots of the commentary around them is simply overhyped or untrue. Potatoes are one of the world’s healthiest foods, they are naturally fat free and gluten free, a great source of B and C vitamins, potassium and fibre and they really should be part of the weekly menu in every Irish household.”
The Spudlove campaign is also appealing to GIYers to show their love for the wonder-spud by sharing their top spud-growing moments on social media with the hashtag #spudlove. Plenty of inspiration and a host of nutritional and seasonal recipes for potatoes can be found at www.potato.ie.
Commenting on the partnership and the ‘SpudLove’ competition Lorcan Bourke of Bord Bia said, “Bord Bia is delighted to work with GIY on this to encourage people to grow, cook and eat a wide variety of potatoes. The Spud Off competition is the perfect way to get people to celebrate the potato and show some spud love! The potato is part of our culture like no other food, inextricably linked to Ireland’s story and part of who we are, with the industry supporting growers and businesses in communities all over Ireland. However, we still need to challenge perceptions and dispel some myths around potatoes – particularly amongst younger consumers – in order to combat declining consumption. I would urge people to take a look at Potato.ie, a one-stop-shop showcasing how versatile and healthy potatoes in fact are.”
The winner of the competition will be announced on National Potato Day following a national ‘Spud Off’ competition at the new GROW HQ building which by then will have opened in Waterford City. Lorcan Bourke of Bord Bia, Nutritionist Aoife Hearne and Michael Kelly of GIY will judge the national ‘Spud Off’.
Interested families, individuals, workplaces and groups can check out the ‘Spud Rules’ and register to host a ‘Spud Off’ at www.giyinternational.org/spudlove