The real "Jersey Royal Potato " Production system?

MX7

Member
Location
cotswolds
As I opened our pack of Jersey Royal potatoes this evening ,I thought where do all these New Potatoes come from such a small Island.
One sees Jersey Potatoes being grown on very steep hillsides for publicity shots,BUT when I look at Jersey Royal Potato co ,the fields in the pics look nice and level:scratchhead:
Always amazes me how the small island of Jersey can continuously supply Jersey Royals, what rotation if any do the farmers have??
 

Al R

Member
Location
West Wales
It could be continuous potatoes? If harvested young there is very little disease pressure?
I know people who grew Pembrokeshire earlies in the same field for 20 years. Plant potatoes February under plastic, harvest late April until late June. Either plant a spring cereal or if into May/June a green crop/westerworld, graze crops with sheep and then plant potatoes again in February.
 

chaffcutter

Moderator
Location
S. Staffs
They crop every square inch that they can plant a spud in, no matter how steep it is, and dig them by hand if they have to. They operate as a co-op and all spuds are delivered to the grading shed by the docks.
Jersey Royals is a protected name like Stilton cheese so they can only be labelled as such if they are from Jersey.
I’ve been there several times and I still haven’t found out how they can get away with growing them pretty well continuously, there is a fair amount of grassland but very few cereals grown. Whether PCN levels are kept low because it’s such a short growing season, or whether they use a lot of chemical control I don’t know.
 
I hope there are lots of well informed replies.

I know a little, because I'm a green grocer.

The jersey royal is the variety International kidney & grown on the Island of Jersey.

On the best soils they are grown every year, they are in the soil for such a short period that rotation is not necessary, eelworm actually declines because they don't have time to complete their life cycle. The potatoes are grown all year round (almost but still with a huge peak in late spring/early summer) now by the use of tunnels for early crops & late planting for later crops.

The steep slopes are only used for early crops because the south facing ones of course mature earlier.

Second crops of caulie/broc are often grown (much more so in the 70's cheaper competion from Spain/France/Italy & Portugal these days) I think westerwolds grass is sometimes grown too.

In the old days huge amounts of seaweed was hauled to the fields to stop soil erosion & to feed the crop.

Blight can be dreadful in them.

Sorry Jersey farmers but we don't stock them we sell Spanish then Cornish (sometimes Pembroke) & then Bostons which have started this week.

What I stuggle to understand is how they hold the soil on steep cotes (fields) during thunderstorms.
 

chaffcutter

Moderator
Location
S. Staffs
When I was a kid back in the 50’s we used to have Jersey Mids, very early probably as a treat for Easter perhaps? I think that they must have stopped harvesting them at such a low yield because of competition from Cyprus, Egypt, Spain etc does anyone know?
 

Al R

Member
Location
West Wales
When I was a kid back in the 50’s we used to have Jersey Mids, very early probably as a treat for Easter perhaps? I think that they must have stopped harvesting them at such a low yield because of competition from Cyprus, Egypt, Spain etc does anyone know?
Odd how Egypt produces so many potatoes, grown in the sewerage from Cairo I was told.....
 
I hope there are lots of well informed replies.

I know a little, because I'm a green grocer.

The jersey royal is the variety International kidney & grown on the Island of Jersey.

On the best soils they are grown every year, they are in the soil for such a short period that rotation is not necessary, eelworm actually declines because they don't have time to complete their life cycle. The potatoes are grown all year round (almost but still with a huge peak in late spring/early summer) now by the use of tunnels for early crops & late planting for later crops.

The steep slopes are only used for early crops because the south facing ones of course mature earlier.

Second crops of caulie/broc are often grown (much more so in the 70's cheaper competion from Spain/France/Italy & Portugal these days) I think westerwolds grass is sometimes grown too.

In the old days huge amounts of seaweed was hauled to the fields to stop soil erosion & to feed the crop.

Blight can be dreadful in them.

Sorry Jersey farmers but we don't stock them we sell Spanish then Cornish (sometimes Pembroke) & then Bostons which have started this week.

What I stuggle to understand is how they hold the soil on steep cotes (fields) during thunderstorms.
Glad to hear that you sell Cornish, as a Cornish earlier grower myself I think jersey royals are overrated
 

chaffcutter

Moderator
Location
S. Staffs
Yes a friend who was there for the Suez crisis told me years ago that he wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole, they were grown in almost pure sh1te apparently.
 

abitdaft

Member
Location
Scotland
I don't know much about tatties other than working in a packing station when I left school. What I do know is that tatties certainly don't taste like tatties when I was growing up. I recently bought jerseys and they had no flavour. Am attempting growing my own this year. Been quite successful in the past so fingers crossed. One thing that I will say about shop bought veg.. I left school in 1990 and started working for a packing company. Everything we packed was of the same quality, the price variance was shocking, yet all the produce had come from the same field. Grading was a joke.
 
I don't know much about tatties other than working in a packing station when I left school. What I do know is that tatties certainly don't taste like tatties when I was growing up. I recently bought jerseys and they had no flavour. Am attempting growing my own this year. Been quite successful in the past so fingers crossed. One thing that I will say about shop bought veg.. I left school in 1990 and started working for a packing company. Everything we packed was of the same quality, the price variance was shocking, yet all the produce had come from the same field. Grading was a joke.
Some say that the growers are not allowed to gather raw seaweed & spread it on the fields anymore. I don't know if that is true, but it would explain the flavour.

Most greengrocers would agree with you. Cornish product much better, don't know their secret farmyard manure??????
 

Lazy Sod

Member
Location
Warminster
We were in Jersey in 1982, at the end of April. Out for a walk, we found ourselves looking across at a steep potato field being harvested. They had a Ferguson T20, with a winch, at the top and it was pulling a single furrow plough up the slope, ploughing the potatoes out. They were picked up by hand.
 

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