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March 08, 2023

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 11, 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 U.S. border closure of 2021 and 2022, five Island farms opened their doors and invited Islanders to visit and bring home some potatoes 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.  More than 5,000 people picked up  160,000 pounds 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. 


Although the U.S. border is now open, and growers can ship table potatoes to the U.S., food prices have continued to increase. So even though these perfect potatoes have a home in the brisk marketplace, Randy Visser recruited three other farms for 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 in need, to allow consumers to visit local farms and to allow the farms to show their appreciation for the support felt from their communities.”


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.


Source:  PEI Potato Board March 7, 2023 news release


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 8 March 2023