The winners of the Angus Potato Project 2016 have been announced.
The popular project starts in March each year and involves just over 1000 primary school pupils from Angus and Dundee.
The project evolved from the national RHET scheme “Count and Grow”, becoming even bigger locally in the five years since Count and Grow finished and ACI decided to run the project themselves.
Potato growing is so important to agriculture in Angus that the ACI Committee felt it was a vital to continue to offer local schools the opportunity to take part.
As well as being a great learning experience the project is very versatile and can be used by teachers to link into many aspects of Curriculum for Excellence.
Sponsors McCain Potatoes Ltd and RGS Forfar stepped in to help fund the project. McCain also supply the 300 seed potatoes needed and help with the classroom visits.
The visits are an important part of the project and each class taking part has a visit from a RHET volunteer farmer.
The volunteer helps them plant their potatoes and talks to them about growing potatoes, some of the volunteers go in again at harvest to help the pupils count and weigh their crops. Classes that take part are also given a growing tub and compost.
The 2016 winners of the heaviest crop of competition potatoes grown were the P5 class at Tannadice Primary School, who harvested just over 2kg of potatoes from the three tubers planted in March.
This was a great result as it was not a particularly easy year for growing potatoes in a tub, due to the weather.
Winners of the project prize were Hayshead Primary School P5s, who not only made a Powerpoint about what they had learnt from the project but also produced a potato recipe book, which they sold as an Enterprise Project to raise money for their garden area.
Tannadice PS were helped by RHET ACI Chairman Bruce Christie from Dalhousie Estates with their growing efforts and Hayshead PS by Gill Lawrie from Newton of Arbirlot. There was a great response to the project this year with 10 excellent projects submitted for the competition and over 20 classes sending in harvest weights.
The 2017 project will be launched just after the schools return in January.