Nearly 10 million people across the UK will soon be tuning in to see a local primary school’s efforts to grow the best crop of Jersey Royals in a bucket.
The children at St Lawrence School who are competing in this year’s Genuine Jersey Royal Potato Growing Competition are being filmed today for BBC1’s ‘Countryfile’.
The show's Presenter Matt Baker is going back to school to help weigh and count all the Jersey Royals that each class has been busy growing over the last few months.
The Head of the Genuine Jersey Products Association John Garton said: "I really hope the children of St Lawrence School enjoy being filmed as this will recognise their enthusiasm – over the life of the competition they have been regular winners. This year will see the 50,000th child take part over the ten years of the competition, which is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates how important the Jersey Royal crop is to the community.
The big spud weigh-in is part of a larger feature on our famous potatoes that will go on air in two week's time. The crew are keen to show how our Jersey Royals are farmed and Matt Baker will be having a go at ploughing a côtil and hand-lifting some of them himself. They will then head off to the Island's state-of-the-art pack houses to see the Royals being washed, sorted, quality-checked and pillow-packed ready to hit the shelves.
Mr Garton said: "I would hope that this exposure will demonstrate how special Jersey Royals are to our farmers and the community as a whole and help consumers understand why they are the ‘Champagne of new potatoes’.
"Countryfile has a dedicated and loyal following in our target marketplace. We think that the filming will be broadcast on 22nd May, which is great timing as they should be available in large quantities across the whole country."
All the schools' potatoes will be weighed and counted in the coming weeks and the overall winners of this year's spud growing competition will be announced on 26 May.
Headteacher Chris Jones said that all of the children at the school were delighted about the filming.
He said: "The whole school and community are really excited to be hosting the BBC Countryfile team and Matt Baker at St Lawrence School today. We have planned a special assembly where we will be cracking open our class buckets and finding out which has the most number of potatoes and also the heaviest crop.
"This is the 10th year of this competition and we have been involved from the start. We have done really well so far, but the competition is getting a lot tougher as experience and growing skills at the other primary schools is also improving. We learn a huge amount by entering. We have lots of fun, we work as a team, the whole school, and everyone is involved. It is a fun way for the children to access a number of areas of the curriculum including healthy food and eating. They also learn a lot about Jersey, their heritage and culture."
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