Anna Ritchie is top of the potato crops!

Local farmer Murray Henderson and RNCI chairman Chris Stockwell presented pupils with the school's prize
Local farmer Murray Henderson and RNCI chairman Chris Stockwell presented pupils with the school's prize

A Peterhead school has come out top of the crops in a schools project.

Anna Ritchie School was one of 31 primary Schools from Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire who have been taking part in the ‘Totally Tatties’ 2014 project since February which culminated in the harvest of potatoes in June.

Schools involved recorded their findings and then had the option of entering the competition for the best project submission and/or heaviest crop of potatoes.

The overall standard and amount of effort and involvement applied to all the projects was phenomenal.

As a result, it was an incredibly hard decision for sponsors of the competition, the Mair family of Raemoir Garden Centre, to pick an on overall winner.

After much deliberation the prize for the highest yield went to the pupils of Anna Ritchie School, who produced a bumper crop of potatoes weighing over six kilograms!

The winners of the project submission category were Kinloss Primary School’s P3 class.

Judges said: “It was very difficult to choose as all the schools had gone to tremendous effort with the projects, but we ultimately decided Kinloss should be declared winners.”

In February, the schools were supplied with an education pack, a project workbook as well as Perline seed potatoes and a kit for growing the potatoes.

Each school had a volunteer, dedicated link farmer who went and talked to the class and advised on their tattie growing venture.

Anna Ritchie’s link farmer was Mr Henderson of Yonderton Farm, Hatton, and he is truly delighted at the school’s success and has thoroughly enjoyed working with the class.

In a presentation on Tuesday, September 9, the school received a cheque for £100 and a certificate to honour their success.

Teacher Hannah Kennedy said: “It has been really good, the kids have enjoyed it.

“The project ran from January to June so the children could see the potatoes from the very start to where we are now and they helped to feed and look after them.

“We ate the potatoes as the project encouraged us to use them at the end, so we turned them into potato scones and the children took them home so their parents could get involved.”

Royal Northern Countryside Initiative (RNCI) chairman, Chris Stockwell, presented the cheque and said: “This is a great competition as it gives children the opportunity to learn how to grow and harvest crops, as well as gaining numeracy skills.”

The RNCI are extremely grateful to their sponsors for their generous support with the project.