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Scotland’s Potato House owner talks Brexit, breeding and heritage potatoes

In this week’s Scotland’s Larder column in The Scotsman, Catriona Thomson talks to Andrew Skea from Potato House about how Brexit is affecting the Scottish seed potato industry, about growing your own heritage spuds, to chit spuds or not, and more.

Whether it is for baking, boiling, roasting, making chips or for mash, Andrew Skea knows a thing or two about the humble potato. Andrew’s grandfather was involved in growing seed potatoes on a mixed arable from the 1950’s so potato growing is definitely in the blood. Andrew explains that growing up, “that was pretty much all that was talked about.” When he got together with his wife Amy, “she thought it was hilarious that my nickname was ‘Tattie’, but if your father was a potato farmer in rural Angus or Perthshire, then you were called Tattie.”

Andrew founded Skea Organics, 20 years ago to supply farmers throughout UK and Europe and further afield with seed potatoes. However his latest online venture selling a wide range of heritage varieties directly to gardeners via their website The Potato House, has really taken off.

As for Brexit, Andrew says: “We need to know that before we plant the crops this year, in April, so we need to know by the end of March at the latest if we are going to have a market. More annoying would be if we are just not any further forward by March, and we would have to take a gamble on whether to plant them or not. We have lots of varieties that we only grow for the German market.”

Source: The Scotsman. Read the full article here
Photo: Andrew Skea with his children Calum Skea (14), Catriona Skea (13) Morag Skea (10) | The Scotsman

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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