History of Bute’s potatoes on show at Rothesay Library

The results of research into the history of potatoes on Bute will go on show at Rothesay Library from Thursday, October 2.
The results of research into the history of potatoes on Bute will go on show at Rothesay Library from Thursday, October 2.

The results of a comprehensive research programme into the history of Bute’s potatoes will go on display at Rothesay Library from Thursday, October 2.

The research, by Brandanii Heritage, is part of the Bute Heritage Potatoes Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and led by Bute Produce, which aims to develop a growing and education programme at their Ashfield site using traditional methods of cultivation to grow Beauty of Bute, Pride of Bute and Marquis of Bute potatoes.

From Thursday, Rothesay Library will host a small exhibition which summarises the results of this research and the history of the potato on Bute. An accompanying booklet can also be picked up from the venue.

At the same time a history detective’s challenge will be launched, asking the pupils of Bute’s primary schools to help uncover the more recent social history relating to potatoes on the island by tracking down family memories about potatoes on the island.

A comments book will be available in the library for anyone who has memories to share about all aspects of potatoes on Bute – planting, growing, harvesting, selling and most importantly, eating!

Paul Duffy of Brandanii Heritage said: “The potato is such an everyday thing, but its place in the history of Bute, and indeed Scotland is hugely significant. After undertaking the research for this project I’ll certainly never look at a bag of chips or a plate of mash in the same way again!”

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, project manager for Fyne Futures, said: “Reaching back to the past to help us grow our horticulture knowledge has been wonderful. The island has a wonderfully rich history of producing quality fresh produce and we are looking forward to taking what has been learned and making practical use of it.”