With approximately 12 weeks to go before Pembrokeshire Earlies hit the shelves throughout Wales, we thought we’d best start planting!
It’s that time of year again when we are all looking forward to the summer sunshine, long days and late nights, and of course our famous PGI Pembrokeshire Earlies! Each year more and more people are finding out what makes Pembrokeshire Earlies so good, and we just love being able to share these yummy new potatoes with you! So, with only 12 weeks to go until Pembrokeshire Earlies hit a shelf near you, our Pembrokeshire Earlies farmers are run off their feet, planting our biggest crop yet!
Did you know: On the 4th December 2013, the European Commission’s protected food name scheme awarded Pembrokeshire Earlies protected geographical indicator status (PGI). Now, only early potatoes grown in Pembrokeshire using traditional methods can be sold as Pembrokeshire Earlies.
Every year when March arrives our farmers begin planting our tasty Pembrokeshire Earlies, but it takes preparation before March to make sure their ground is ready for the seed potatoes, the beginning of growing our Pembrokeshire Earlies.
Soil preparation begins with ploughing. The field is then left to weather so that the upturned soil can break down. Stones are left in to warm up the soil!
As soil temperatures approach 10°C, usually towards the end of February, the soils gets another going over to make it as fine and free draining as possible.
Now it’s time to get the seed potatoes in the ground!
Planting should be well underway, using seed potatoes stored in perfect conditions since the autumn. Planting is often done by hand, under a fairly shallow 75mm of soil. By mid-March the leafy tops should be peeping through the soil.
Did you know: Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Pembrokeshire’s mild, frost-free coastal climate is perfect for growing Pembrokeshire Earlies!
Once we get to May we can begin harvesting some of the very first Pembrokeshire Earlies of the season! The next few months are as important as the first, to make sure there are plenty of yummy Pembrokeshire Earlies on shelves to go around!
The first tender potatoes are usually harvested by hand.
Later growers can use machines, but only with great skill and care.
They are distributed to supermarkets, wholesalers and top restaurants all over the UK!
If you want to find out even more about our Pembrokeshire Earlies, we’ve got a really handy booklet, which will tell you everything you need to know, and more! Read more here!
Remember: Keep an eye our blog over the coming months, and we’ll be updating you with the progress of our precious Pembrokeshire Earlies!
Let the 12 week countdown commence… #irresistiblywelsh