Page 62 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 62

Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire
  Potato Day 2020
 Saturday 8th February was South East Essex Organic Gardeners in conjunction with Trustlinks 10th Annual Seed Potato Day, drawing in nearly 200 local people from across Southend and other parts of Essex and Home Counties. It was a cold and dry day, but there was a very good atmosphere.
Seed Potato Day takes place at Growing Together Westcliff every year, in partnership with South East Essex Organic Gardeners who gathered over 50 varieties of seed potatoes together with Onion Sets for guests to buy and grow at home. The event was opened by special guest Matthew Oliver, Horticulturalist at RHS Hyde Hall, and The Mayor and Mayoress of Southend.
Stall holders included Southend in Transition, who facilitate a seed swap initiative, The National Allotment Society, Once Upon a Tree, and the Red Hot Stitchers who all share Trust Links’ vision of strong communities and sustainable living through green initiatives.
Nirmal Gupta MBE and volunteers
from the South Essex Asian Women’s Association served a fantastic vegetarian Indian lunch for guests to enjoy, highlighting just how versatile and delicious the humble spud can be, and jacket potatoes were enjoyed by those with a more delicate palate.
Eastern Region Chair of The National Allotment Society, Wyn Marshall, was on the stand publicising the work of the Society and other than getting cold feet had a great day. The event raised over £790 to help further the charity’s
work, and Matt King, Chief Executive, explained why events like this are so important. “At Trust Links we hold several events throughout the year to encourage our local community to come and enjoy our beautiful community gardens and learn about the benefits of therapeutic gardening. We want Trust Links to be a familiar and enjoyable place for all the family so that accessing support feels easy and comfortable, and much less clinical.” He continued: "As with all our events, it is our volunteers, members and community partners that made Seed Potato Day such a success and we are so grateful. Without this support we couldn’t keep our events free and accessible to everyone, and
it certainly wouldn’t have been the fantastic day that it was.”
My thanks to Lisa Swallow and Wyn Marshall for taking the photographs. If anyone would like to know more about SEEOG or the work of Trustlinks please get in touch.
Ray How
   62 Allotment and Leisure Gardener

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