To help offset rising food costs, four Island farms are opening their potato storages to Islanders. Visitors are invited to help themselves and pick unwashed potatoes directly from the pile in storage. The event occurs Saturday, March 11th, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The participating potato farms are:
- G Visser and Sons – 6346 Trans-Canada Hwy, Orwell Cove
- R.A. Rose and Sons Ltd. – 402 Northlake Harbour Rd, Lakeville
- Farmboys Inc. – 1472 Arlington Road, Richmond
- Vanco Farms – 280 Crooked Creek Road, Oyster Bed
During the US Border Closure of 2021 and 2022, five Island farms opened their doors and invited Islanders to visit and bring home some of their supply as thanks for their support. Many potatoes had to be destroyed last year when the border closed, and these farms wanted to share with Islanders before the destruction was completed. Over 5,000 people visited the five farms, collecting 160,000 lbs of potatoes, and the farms collected $8500 for the food bank.
Randy Visser with G Visser and Sons enjoyed the event and felt it was a great way to engage with the community and help explain the how and why of what they do on their farm. He did a similar event on his farm last fall where he allowed Islanders to come to pick potatoes directly out of the field during harvest, teaching people old and young a bit more about the process of the potato harvest.
Although the US border is now open, and growers can ship table potatoes to the US, food prices have continued to increase, and inflation has created challenging times for some Islanders. So even though these potatoes are perfect quality and have a home in the brisk marketplace, Visser recruited three other farms to give to Islanders and generously support the local food banks in the 2023 version of “Fill Your Boots.”
“We are thankful for a good harvest this past fall, and we know that rising food costs are cutting into Islanders’ food budget,” says Visser. “The purpose of the event is threefold, to support the local foodbanks who help those that are in the most need on the Island, to create an opportunity for Islanders to connect with farms and learn about what they do, and to allow the farms to show their appreciation for the support felt from their communities.”
The premise is that you can bring a bucket, bag, boot, or other creative storage means and take as many potatoes as you can fit in that item. While the potatoes are free to take, the farms hope attendees will donate to the food bank in the process. Many people are in need, and it is a great way to help them.
PEI Potato farmers donate directly to food banks throughout the year. However, this is an opportunity for people to come directly to participating farms, gather up some potatoes, and learn a bit about farming.
For more information, visit Prince Edward Island Potatoes on Facebook.