The National Trust welcomed local primary school children from Straidbilly, Dunseverick and Bushmills back to Innisfree Farm to enjoy the great outdoors and the fun activity of harvesting their pre-planted potatoes as part of a community involvement initiative which aims to teach young people the importance of protecting the environment.
For the past six years local school children have been invited to take part in a potato planting project, where they plant in spring time and harvest in the autumn under the careful guidance of Dr Cliff Henry, Area Ranger for the National Trust.
Cliff tells the children of our local ‘Potato Wizard’ John Clarke, a potato breeder from the area who was completely self-taught in potato breeding having read books in his local library in Ballycastle.
He is the man we can thank for the very popular Maris Piper potato variety that we know and love today.
The activity teaches children how potatoes are planted, cared for and harvested teaching them the hard work that goes into how the humble spud which ends up on their plate for dinner, and the best part, they get to take some home for cooking.
On Saturday 13 October, the National Trust will hold the much-loved annual Northern Ireland Potato Festival which boasts a line-up of attractions including Naturally North Coast and Glens artisan market with food and craft producers, cookery demonstrations and talks, bouncy castles, exhibitions and displays, potato inspired games and a petting farm, including a cookery theatre compered by NI Food Ambassador Paula McIntyre MBE.