Here’s a ‘timeline’ of this year’s 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 early December 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.
This year some varieties weren’t available and we only found out about two of them when the delivery happened so a last minute search on the internet for an alternative supplier. delivered to our organisers home and then brought in by bike and trailer.
On Potato Day itself we had a welcome return of the ‘seed swap’ in the shop and the orders being collected.
This year we sold surplus stock from a market stall and although very windy a lot was sold.
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.