The Great St. Florence Potato Challenge Yields Spud-tacular Results!!

The Great St. Florence Potato Challenge was back this year with entrants competing to show their potato-growing prowess by attempting to grow the heaviest crop and/or the greatest number of potatoes.

The Challenge was sponsored by fresh produce producer Puffin Produce, Walter Simon (a Grower with over 40 years’ experience growing potatoes for Puffin Produce), Birt & Co, E. Park & Sons, plus support from Jewson’s Builder Merchants, all in aid of raising funds for St. Florence Church.

LtoR – Clare Stansfield Marketing Manager at Puffin Process, Jenny Close Organiser of the Great St. Florence Potato Challenge, Father Paul Boyle St. Florence Church, Stuart Evans First Prize Heaviest Crop & Champion, Penny Mackenzie First Prize largest number and Walter Simon Puffin Produce Grower

A total of 160 buckets were sold with 116 adults, 39 children and 3 schools taking part in the challenge.   The challenge was very simple – competitors paid £5 to receive one seed potato and one bucket. The participants took the kit home and added some soil or compost and planted their seed potato – and the rest was up to them until judgment day on 17th July.

The Great St. Florence Potato Challenge, St. Florence Church

Jenny Close, organiser of the Challenge said,

“I think we can safely say the Challenge was another huge success and a great day for all, albeit rather hot! All the volunteers, helpers and Walter Simon as the judge did a wonderful job. Once again, thank you so much to our sponsors for their support in making this event happen.  Their generosity is very much appreciated and St. Florence church is very grateful.”

The Challenge weigh-in took place last Saturday (17th July) with some brilliant results.

The winners were categorised into groups comprising of School, Adult and Child with first, second third and fourth place prizes awarded for each category.

The Great St. Florence Potato Challenge Winning Buckets of Potatoes

Walter Simon who judged the competition said,

“I was amazed again at the results this year and really hope that next year we can all be together and see the potatoes coming out of the buckets and celebrate together.”

The winning school with the heaviest and largest number of potatoes was St. Florence V.C Infant School.

The overall heaviest crop and champion of the competition was Stuart Evans who grew an impressive 2.689 kg’s of potatoes! Penny Mackenzie grew the greatest number of potatoes – an astonishing 58 from just one seed potato. 

L-R Walter Simon, Penny Mackenzie, Stuart Evans, Clare Stansfield

The first prize in the Children’s categories went to Kate Joseph, who grew 38 potatoes weighing in at 1.809 kg’s.

Kate Joseph (12 yrs) child winner with the heaviest crop & largest number, Grandfather Ken Davies 4th adult largest number, Alex (15yrs) 2nd heaviest crop & joint 3rd largest number

Huw Thomas, Managing Director at Puffin Produce said,

“We were delighted to sponsor the Great St. Florence Potato Challenge again for the second year.  The uptake was phenomenal and it’s wonderful to hear how everyone in the community enjoyed taking part and growing their own potatoes.  We were very impressed with the results!”

Talking about the amount raised for St. Florence Church, Jenny Close said,

“I am delighted to confirm that through our generous sponsors, those entering the Potato Challenge, the kind additional donations and our wonderful volunteers all supporting the event, we raised £910 in aid of St Florence. Church. We are thrilled and very grateful to everybody involved.”