Potato Festival! How a small community comes together

How long can a potato peel?

Last Monday we visited the Gunns Plains Potato Festival down in the beautiful Gunns Plains valley. Nestled in this green, lush valley is a small community hall which has been raising funds for the community with a potato festival for the last ten years. Currently the hall desperately needs a new roof and ceiling.

Between light showers and sunny breaks the festival capered along with kids events, cooking competitions, art competitions, potato peel competition, stunning local art, historical display, yummy treats and lots of fun. The food, I must say, was awesome! A large table groaned with competition goodies, all of which had to include potatoes as an ingredient. Newly re-elected Mayor Jan Bond was there, along with local identities and jovial MC.

I was drawn to the historical display where photos from 100 years ago showed early settlers to the area engaged in potato framing and processing. It was hard slog, by the looks of it, to sow, gather potatoes by hand, sort and cart by horse to the Burnie wharf.

Makes me realise, again, that we are fortunate to have machines such as front end loader tractors, post hole diggers and excavators which can do the heavy jobs for us and, in real terms, prolong our ability to work the land.

Another reminder of the history of this area is the amazing 'My Patch' community quilt which hung on the wall. All hand made by residents, its a really beautiful display of family and community pride and unity. I loved all the different designs made by each family according to what was important to them, whether it was their sheep stud, fish farm or family connection to the land. A truly remarkable feat.