Here’s a ‘timeline’ of the 2023 Potato Day.
Our wholesalers send us a list of the available varieties in early September, our website is then updated and prepared to go live with the ordering system.
Once its live orders come in daily for about six weeks with each order printed off and catalogued. A spreadsheet filled in totalling up the number of each variety ordered.
When pre ordering closes in late November the final order is decided, not always easy because we order by weight but sell per tuber (we assume 200 per 20kg bag but it differs each year!).
In early January the seeds (onions, shallots, garlic, beans & peas) are collected from our wholesaler in Ripley and stored in a container in the Queen’s Park car park. The container space is given by Inclusive Pedals who run the monthly Dr Bike workshop from there.
The seeds are collected by a team of around 20 volunteers who pack them at their homes and then return them to the container a week later.
On the Monday before Potato Day all the potatoes arrive and are arranged in a shop given to us by Chesterfield Borough Council for the week.
Later on that day all the packed seeds are taken from the container into the shop – volunteers helping to carry around 100kg up several flights of stairs!
On the following three days small teams of volunteers packed the 165 pre orders in the shop ready for collection on Saturday. Bulk orders being prepared for Transition Loughborough, Hathersage/HopeValley and Rhubarb Farm.
Some years varieties haven’t been available from our usual wholesaler so we hunt round for a last minute alternative supplier.
For the first time on Potato Day itself we had two shops, one for pre order collection and one for on the day sales which also had the ‘seed swap’, a green manure stall and Transition’s info stall.
It was a welcome return to selling in a shop, we hadn’t been able to do that since Covid.
Afterwards all the remaining stock was brought in from the market stall, everything taken down the stairs again and taken to Inspire Community Garden where it is available to buy. More volunteers came along to tidy the shop and hoover up!
All the profits go to Transition Chesterfield and Inspire Community Garden. Around 35 people volunteered their time to help.
From surplus stock we donate potatoes to Gussies, schools and care homes.