Rain rain go away – Naturally Grown Potatoes suffering

Joy from Naturally Grown Potatoes and her produce at the Capital Region Farmers MarketSadly, it’s no joy for Naturally Grown Potatoes right now. In two senses – Joy from Naturally Grown Potatoes hasn’t been at the Market for quite some time, and her and husband Lester are both feeling pretty joyless after much of their potato season has been wrecked by the heavy rains.

Joy and Lester grow their organic potatoes on their 500-acre property in Crookwell, NSW, and because they dig fresh to order on a weekly basis, they have been losing a huge amount of their crop due to the continuing rains. Joy says everyone assumes that the farmers love the rain, but in many cases and especially in winter, this does not always ring true. When the rain is this heavy and prolonged, it’s not good for potatoes at all. The ground becomes boggy and slushy and the potatoes can rot. The couple have been waiting for a break in the weather of a week or more in order for the ground to be dry enough to dig what potatoes they can, but with 7.5 inches of rain in June, and another 5.75 inches in July, it’s just not happening. Joy is also quick to point out the flow on effects and impact on their livelihood – with this much rain there is no growth to feed the cows, soil erosion, the need to buy in grain and hay for the sheep, a loss of income and Joy’s social life too as she just loves coming to Market.

Naturally Grown Potatoes produce Dutch Cream, Sebago, Pontiac, Rideau, Charlotte, Tassie Pink Eye, King Edward, Coliban and Kipfler Nicola varieties just to name a few, but it’s hard to say at this stage what they may salvage this season.  What an important and timely reminder of how our growers, the real people behind the produce, can be badly affected by the climate.  It’s also a reminder to support your local growers and producers when they really need it. We will keep you posted on when Naturally Grown Potatoes will be back at the Market and what varieties they will have available.

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