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Adventures with Tattie Planting in Papa Westray

We have been finding out how people survived on our island by farming and fishing. We think it is important for the planet, to try to be sustainable and to reduce our global footprint. We realised one way to do this is by growing our own vegetables. Here is our story of growing tatties (potatoes) over the past few seasons.

Year 1: we grew 2 types of tattie, in tubs. We weighed them and tasted them. They made a delicious addition to our school lunch.

Year 2: we grew our tubs but we also grew some tatties outside in rows. They were traditional kinds for our area. To do this, we had to use some land just outside our school grounds. It is land that is wet in the winter and dry in the summer. 

It was a dry and windy summer! We realised that this affected the yield. What would you have felt like, in times gone by, if your tatties hadn’t grown? Very hungry! We did manage to harvest some tatties though… 

We asked the senior citizens’ Thursday Club to help us with some taste tests with our crops and decided that traditional varieties are definitely worth growing!

Because of the lack of shelter, we decided to try to make a windbreak. We started by getting some straw bales in a semicircle. Here we are, sitting on the sheltered side.

Then we planted willow inside the semicircle. The bales provided shelter for the willow. This year the willow has grown. We measured it. Next year we will plant more willow. Eventually we shall have a willow windbreak and the bales will rot down into the soil. This will help us grow our vegetables and make the soil richer.

This year the nursery and lower primary are growing tatties in tubs again. We have 3 children in our nursery. They are keeping a log of how their tatties are growing…

Week 1





Week 2





Week 3





Week 4





Week 5





Week 6





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