Newport schools invited to take up the Great Potato Challenge

The organisers of Newport Show have thrown down a new challenge to local schools in a bid to encourage more young people to learn about growing their own food.

The show has invited all 10 infant and primary schools in the area to take up the Great Potato Challenge and grow their own spuds.

Each school has been provided with a basic potato growing kit with the aim of growing as many potatoes as they can. The results will be revealed during a live weigh in at the Schools Marquee on the day of the show at Chetwynd Deer Park on July 8.

The school that produces the biggest bumper crop will be crowned the Schools Champion Potato Grower 2017 and receive £100 to be spent on school gardening equipment.

To add an extra competitive element, the show’s President Richard Maddocks and Vice President Tony Asson will also be taking up the challenge.

The schools that have been invited to take part are Newport Infants, Church Aston, Moorfield, SS Peter & Paul, St Peter’s Edgmond, Newport Junior, Muxton, Tibberton, Lilleshall and Castle House.

Richard Maddocks said: “Each kit includes all the instructions and material needed to grow potatoes so it’s a great way for children to learn more about where their food comes from.

“Growing your own food is something that has increased in popularity over recent years and potatoes are one crop that can be grown easily regardless of whether you have an acre of land or just room for one pot.

“With the show’s strong agricultural heritage, we are keen to promote the link between food production and the produce that ends up on our plate and the Great Potato Challenge will encourage greater understanding among children in a fun and informative way.”

“We’re really looking forward to seeing the results at the show in July and I’m sure they’ll be some friendly rivalry among our local schools!” he added.

This year, the show’s Festival of Food will feature guest appearances by the 2016 Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown along with hands on workshops and stalls promoting the best in regional produce.

The bagpipe band, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, will headline the main ring entertainment and there will be more than 140 livestock and sheep classes, a horse show and a dog show with Crufts qualifying classes.

There will also be family activities, vintage vehicle and machinery displays, trade stands, antique stalls, schools marquee, handicraft and horticulture competitions, and fairground rides.

Advance tickets are on sale here. To keep up to date with show news, like the Newport Show Facebook page or follow it on Twitter @NewportShow for updates throughout the year.