It's been wayyyyyy more successful than I thought it would be!!!!
I was quite conservative in my initial order in December. Adding to it through January has become increasingly difficult...... We deal mainly with 2 suppliers - JBA in Dumfries (the bulk of stock) and WCF in Perth. A bit like me they seem to operate 'just-in-time logistics'. We are all so used to getting what we want in the supermarket, or on-line, but when dealing with 'growing' things that isn't always so simple. . . .Crop failures, poor quality stock (potatoes can look fine then quickly deteriorate with some diseases; yuk!).
Unfortunately we've had unexpected shortages with stock. It seems that most companies worked hard to complete their continental trade before 31st Dec. Brexit is causing the seed potato industry a great deal of angst - the order of Casablanca garlic is stuck in Holland due to border regulations. When you look at the boxes, you realise how much is grown, if not packed, in Holland. Food for thought in our future buying of plants and bulbs etc. SKEA (Potato House) has lost some substantial orders that weren't placed before the Dec 31st deadline - they will never make that up in UK seed potato orders; support them in a) buying seed and b) buying 'ware' potatoes from them. They are a great Scottish breeding & supply enterprise. I have to add that seed potatoes are the 'ugly buggers' of the potato world - not given a brush-up or filtered for lumpy-bumpy bits, unlike 'ware' potatoes that are for eating and sold to shops & supermarkets - look much nicer!.
Unfortunately our deliveries have been problematic, but we're doing our best to keep abreast of the orders. Scott set up a marvellous 'GAF shop'; what a superstar! I've done my best to keep it all updated, but I'm no tech genius and in future a more robust stock system could be devised; hey.... it's a learning curve!!!
What has been really heart warming is the number of people who have said 'thank you'. Everyone collecting has been spot-on with obeying COVID rules as requested and so nice about it all, really heart-warming. Hopefully not too many mistakes or disappointments; always willing to get things sorted though: it can take a wee bit longer. Patience and understanding has been evident in bucket loads!
Have sympathy for suppliers working with all the new Brexit regulations, staff shortages due to isolation and illness and the need to social distance. Believe me everyone is doing their best. We all want folk to get the supplies they need for a great growing season - that's always been the message of 'Potato Day'
One thing for sure is that the ability to use Pollokshaws Hub as a delivery/ collection point has been nothing short of perfectly amazing for me. Perfect in every way and Fiona, & other staff & volunteers have been sooooo helpful. Just amazing; can't thank them enough. And that's on top of all the amazing work they are always doing for the local community - an amazing local resource; brand new.