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BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE SPUD: Meade Potato Co. opens its doors to celebrate National Potato Day
In advance of National Potato Day on Friday, October 6, Meade Potato Company has opened its doors with “Behind the Scenes with the Spud” tours to encourage people to appreciate the potato, its versatility and the excellent nutritional benefits it offers.
On Thursday, September 28, Meade Potato Company welcomed the 5th and 6th class students of Heronstown N.S. and Newtown N.S. for a field to fork tour of their farm and food production facility. Farm Manager Conor O’Malley brought them into a field of Rooster potatoes where he explained the fundamentals of growing. They then followed the journey of the spud as it enters the packhouse and is bagged in preparation for dispatch to their customers. A quiz by the Meade QA Manager on the different varieties revealed that there were many spud lovers in the audience who knew their stuff when it comes to spuds. A trip to the Meade Prepared Foods Division also allowed them to witness the journey of those spuds that get peeled and sent on to foodservice and catering customers. The children were able to witness starch being extracted from the potato peelings for sale onwards to food ingredient and clothing companies. They learned how these complementary businesses help ensure as much of the potato as possible is used with a view towards maximum sustainability.
Students heard about the many ways the company aims to be as green as possible. From its zero food waste status to its new water filtration system to its widespread use of skylights and work with community foodbanks, Meade Potato Co. showed examples of how they have tried to manage their resources efficiently. “I was really impressed by how tuned into being green the children were. It’s great to see that awareness at a young age; hopefully this will carry through all their lives,” observed Jeni Meade who conducted the tour.
After a brief tour of the Fruit and Vegetable Division, the students heard about the many nutritional benefits of the potato and got a well-deserved meal and goody bag of fruit, veg and potatoes to bring home. “Our aim was to ensure the children appreciated how good for you potatoes are – more fibre than two slices of brown bread, more potassium than a banana and loads of Vitamin C, B1 and B6. With any luck, they will demand potatoes at every meal from now on!” said Eleanor Meade on the day.
Combining efforts to promote National Potato Day and celebrate the bountiful food of the Boyne Valley, the company also hosted a Boyne Valley Food Series event in honour of the spud on Friday, September 29. With an array of foodies from near and far, the guests went behind the scenes with the spud from the field to the fork. Sustainability and nutrition were covered during the tour, which ended with a feast celebrating the spud. Using the produce of fellow Boyne Valley food producers was an important part of the meal experience; guests enjoyed artisan sausages from the Whole Hogg based in Slane, carrots freshly harvested from the Meade fields and apple juice from Stameen Farm (with some sampling of their Dan Kelly’s Cider for the non-drivers!). But the star of the show was the spud, which went global for the meal. Showcasing the versatility of the spud is a main aim of National Potato Day so the spud was offered here in traditional ways of mashed, chipped and champ, as well as Swedish Hasselback potatoes, French Dauphinois and Indian curried potatoes. “It was brilliant to see the spud used in so many dishes; it really is such a versatile and nutritional food. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the tour,” said visitor Gerry Farrell.
Rounding out celebrations was a Dig Your Dinner Day at the Heronstown National School where allt he students went out to the school garden and dug up the rooster potatoes they had planted earlier in the year. Fresh spuds were enjoyed all around Lobinstown on National Potato Day - goal achieved!
National Potato Day is a nationwide effort of potato growers in association with Bord Bia to publicise the many health benefits of the potato and its versatility as an important part of the Irish diet.
It's National Potato Day and we've been celebrating the humble spud a lot lately. See some of our celebrations in the link below!
NAME OF EVENT
Behind the Scenes: Celebrating the Spud @Meade Potato Co. Farm
DATE OF EVENT
Fri. 29th September, 2017
PLACE OF EVENT
Meade Potato Co. Farm
TIME OF EVENT
PRICE OF TICKETS
€10 Children go free
HOW DO I BOOK
To book: www.meadepotato.com/Event-Booking
Phone: 046 9053198
Facebook: Meade Potato Company
Take a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of the humble spud at Meade Potato Co.’s farm in the heart of Ireland’s potato growing region. Follow the spud’s journey from the field to the pack house; you’ll learn what makes an ‘A’ grade spud, how it is packed, as well as enlightening facts on potato varieties, environmentally responsible potato production and other fun facts. To cap off this celebration of all things spud, enjoy a Bangers & Mash Goes Global dinner here at the farm featuring deluxe local sausages from the Whole Hogg and the star of the show, the spud, in all its worldwide guises. From Irish colcannon and potato cakes to the French potatoes Dauphinoise to Swedish Hasselback to Indian curried potatoes, we'll dress up the spud to showcase its amazing versatility and why it has earned its place as a staple of the Irish dinner plate.
Please note the correct admission price for this tour is €10.
GOOD OLD FASHION FUN IN LOBINSTOWN - BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND - ON AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND
After a successful Family Fun Day debut last year and two years of boot stomping music & craic at the Hoedown in Lobinstown, both events return to the Meade Potato Company farm and food production facility in Lobinstown, Co. Meath on Sat. 5th Aug. and Sun. 6th Aug. for a farm festival weekend not to be missed. All this good old fashioned fun is in aid of the local schools Heronstown N.S. and Newtown N.S. (Family Fun Day) and the local GAA (Hoedown in Lobinstown).
Family Fun Day on the Farm
On Saturday 5th Aug. from noon to 3pm, children can dance to country tunes, enter the mini tractor grand prix, take a pony ride, have a bounce on a selection of bouncy castles, get their faces painted, enjoy the farm animals, kick hot shots and take a tour of the farm and food production facility to learn more about the farm to fork journey of fresh produce.
Admission is €5 per child and includes all of the above activities, and free entries into a draw to win an annual family membership pass for Tayto Park. A BBQ stand and ice cream van will also offer families great value to make this a fun day that’s easy on the pocket but high in the fun stakes for all the family. The car park opens at 11:30am so get there early is the advice to ensure you enjoy every minute of the farm fun that’s on offer this bank holiday weekend.
Hoedown in Lobinstown
Adults are catered for the following night starting from 8pm at the Hoedown in Lobinstown which will feature music by the Texas Wildcats with special guest star Eugene Donegan – Pilgrim St. and Paddy McGarry. The Meade potato store will be transformed into a bona fide barn dance venue complete with a saloon offering happy hour specials and good value all night. There will be prizes for the Best Dressed Cowgirl and Best Dressed Cowboy as well as a jiving competition for those twinkle toes that fancy their chances. A night not to be missed for all ages over 18.
Admission of €25 includes great music and a pig roast BBQ by Callaghan Butchers Ardee. Tickets for the Hoedown are available at Lobinstown Post Office, Kevin Flanagan Butchers, Watters Pub Collon, Lobinstown Inn, The Sally Pub Rathkenny, Donoghue's Pub Woodtown, Meade Potato Company, PS Supplies Lobinstown, Callaghans Butchers Ardee and all Syddan GFC and Dee Rangers LGFA players and committee members.
“Based on the huge amount of positive feedback and fun we had facilitating both events last year, it will be a Bank Holiday weekend not to be missed here on our farm in Lobinstown,” states Eleanor Meade of Meade Potato Company.
Both events have ample parking available and will take place rain, hail or shine! For more information, please see facebook: Meade Potato Company or Hoedown in Lobinstown for more updates.
The Family Fun Day on the Farm, held from 12-3pm on Sat. 5th Aug. at the Meade Potato Company Farm in Lobinstown, Co. Meath offers a variety of activities for children including a Mini Tractor Grand Prix. Admission €5 includes all activities as well as a raffle ticket for an Annual Family Membership to Tayto Park. All proceeds go to benefit local schools.
Starting at 8pm on Sun 6th Aug at the Meade Potato Company Farm in Lobinstown, Co. Meath, the Hoedown in Lobinstown welcomes Eugene Donegan-Pilgrim St. and Paddy McGarry as Special Guests and will feature the Texas Wildcats. Last year’s packed event transformed a potato store into a boot stompin’ Texas honky tonk. Admission €25 includes BBQ dinner.
Our Employee Recognition Awards for Spring took place last week and we had 3 finalists in the Potato & Peeling Division: Terence Gilsenan, Laima Bendaraviciene and Malgorzata Kopec. Malgorzata was our overall winner (pictured top below with Robert & Tommy). In the Fruit & Veg Division the finalists were: Tomas Korsakas, Tomasz Smardzewski and Elena Acsinte who was the Overall Winner. She is pictured bottom below with Stephen, Daragh & Patrick.
Malgorzata Kopec, Winner of the Potato Division Employee Recognition Awards for Jan-april 2017 pictured with Robert Devlin and Tommy Clarke.
Elena Acsinte who was the Overall Winner is pictured with Stephen Husband, Daragh Carolan & Patrick Meade.
Philip Meade Jr. and Jonathon Fahy headed down to the sunny southeast recently to meet up with the growers who specialise in producing Ireland's finest New Season Potatoes for us. Having met with James, Eamon, Tom and Simon, they are looking forward to another premium quality crop. The Wexford soil is ideal for these early potatoes and this, combined with the expertise that these growers bring to their crops, means that our New Season potatoes will be as tasty as ever - a real treat for spud connoisseurs waiting to tuck in to the new season.
Our Farm Manager Conor O'Malley and our team of growers have been busy this past month planting potatoes and carrots. Now the hard work of monitoring and nurturing the crops begins. The early potatoes will be harvested in June, the carrots in July and the main crop potatoes in late August.
Here are a selection of pictures from left to right, top to bottom:
INCREDIBLE EDIBLES HELPS NATIONAL SCHOOL STUDENTS RING IN SPRING BY GROWING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
The agri-food educational body Agri Aware signalled the start of spring by launching the primary school healthy eating initiative Incredible Edibles with the help of the students of St. Phillips NS, Clonsilla, Dublin 15. They have received a great response with 46% of all national schools signed up to the programme which encourages schools across the country to grow their own strawberries, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, turnips and herbs by supplying packs containing everything they need to become growers. Compost and seeds are sent out, while classroom curriculum-linked activity sheets, log books, growing planners and growing videos can be downloaded from the Incredible Edibles website. By the end of the schoolyear students enjoy the fruits of their labour with early season spuds, tasty strawberries and fresh carrots among the produce to be enjoyed.
Eleanor Meade of Meade Potato Company, a sponsor of the programme, joined other sponsors and supporters from the IFA, Bord Bia, the Department of Agriculture, Healthy Ireland, the Department of Education and Agri Aware to watch as the inaugural group of students got digging. This hands-on approach to growing produce and educating students about nutrition will hopefully encourage young people to eat their seven plus a day of fruit and vegetables.
“With the importance of healthy eating being such a vital lesson for children to learn, we are delighted to be long-time sponsors of this programme. It gives children an insight into how fruit and vegetables are grown, and why they are so nutritious; the sense of accomplishment and fun in watching their gardens grow is a real draw for students. They learn to appreciate the hard work that goes into producing food. This should ultimately help students appreciate agriculture and sustainability as they get older. It’s a win/win programme on all fronts: healthy eating, agriculture, science and the environment. If your local school hasn’t registered, it’s time to get online and get growing,” commented Eleanor Meade of Meade Potato Company.
You can find out more information online at www.incredibleedibles.ie. Entries are closed for this year, but make sure to mark your calendar for next year.
Pictured left to right at the Incredible Edibles launch at St. Phillips NS, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 are: Mike Neary, Bord Bia; the St. Phllips NS student rep; Deirdre O’Shea, Agri Aware; Eleanor Meade, Meade Potato Co. and Richard Moeran, AgriAware, all ready to start their planting.
The 6th Meath Spring Half Marathon & 10k which incorporated the 44th Rennicks Cup & 41st Fr Delany cup & the Meath Half Harathon Championship was held by Bohermeen AC on March 19th. The event has grown into one of the most popular events in Ireland; people made the journey from 28 counties of Ireland to the event, which is a highlight of the athletics calendar.
Meade Potato Co. were happy to join in by demonstrating our commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating through our sponsorship of fruit for the third year running. After Tony picked up the fruit, the younger members of the club joined in the packing of the goody bags.
Meade Participates in Health Promotion Event at Dunboyne College of Further Education
On Friday 10th March Level 6 Health Care Supervision students, along with their Health Promotion Tutor, Patrice Byrne, organised a Healthy Eating Event in the college. The aim of the health promotion event was to encourage students to incorporate healthy eating options into their diet in an effort to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Grainne Whelehan, Nutritionist, kindly agreed to come and speak with the students and gave a very entertaining presentation on nutrition and healthy eating. We were joined by Avonmore/Glanbia, Brennan’s Bread, Fyffes, Gempack/Sowan’s Food Products, Glenisk Yogurts and Irish Pride in showcasing the benefits of Ireland's healthy foods.