The harvest of the famous Jersey Royal potato has started on the island, the initial volumes are small and are sold via wholesale markets in London and Southampton, before moving across the rest of the United Kingdom.
Nigel Holliday from The Jersey Royal Company:
"Timing for the indoor crop is about normal, we harvested the first Jersey Royals in the 3rd week of February. Demand is much better than we had thought, with all the restaurants still being closed, but I think the wholesalers are selling to local greengrocers and independents. It is still early days though and very small quantities."Nigel explains that last year was the one of the worst and most challenging years on record in terms of growing and yield.
"This year has not been without challenges either, we started the outdoor planting in early January, but it was very wet which slowed things down, then we had a small amount of snow which lowered ground temperatures to below zero and affected slowed development of the early outdoor crop. We had to double and treble cover the potatoes to keep them warm and fleece the indoor crops to protect them."
Gorey a few weeks later
"We are now catching up in terms of planting as the weather has improved but are still around two weeks behind. We are hoping for some warm sunny days to bring the crop on."The Jersey Royal Company mainly supply retailers and Nigel said that he hopes the strong retail sales will continue throughout the season.
"The Jersey Royal is a very special product and is seen as a treat. People plan means around them. They are popular around Easter for Sunday roast, and are very versatile as they can be used in many different ways."