Carne family dishing up tasty new potatoes for seven generations

By Esther Hayden

Published 23/07/2016 | 00:00

Three generations of the Pettit family pictured on their potato farm in Carne with Aoife Hearne, Dietitian.
Three generations of the Pettit family pictured on their potato farm in Carne with Aoife Hearne, Dietitian.
From left to right: Pat Pettit from Pettit's potato farm in Carne, Lorcan Bourke of Bord Bia, Eddie Doyle, Chair of the IFA Potato Committee, Aoife Hearne, Dietitian and Ambassador for 'Potatoes - More Than A Bit On the Side' campaign and Michael Hoey, President of the Irish Potato Federation, pictured on the Pettit potato farm for the start of the new season Queens potatoes. Joe Keogh Photography

Digging started in Carne last week for the new season Queens potatoes.

To mark the start of the new season, representatives from Bord Bia, the IFA Potato Committee and the Irish Potato Federation and TV Dietitian, Aoife Hearne, all travelled to the Pettit potato farm in Carne.

New season potatoes are very important for potato growers across the South East and 20,000 tonnes of them are produced nationally every year with Irish consumers set to spend €175 million on 120 million packs of potatoes this year.

Carne potato farmer Pat Pettit is a seventh generation farmer and together with his son, James, is one of 500 potato growers around the country.

To highlight the importance of the new season potatoes Bord Bia has launched 20 new season summer recipes with dietitian Aoife Hearne

TV dietitian and nutritional expert Aoife is the newly-appointed potato ambassador for a Bord Bia-run campaign, aimed at encouraging more people to eat potatoes in Ireland. The initiative is called: 'Potatoes - More Than A Bit On The Side' and Hearne travelled to the Pettit farm in Wexford for the start of this year's harvest, along with representatives from Bord Bia, the Irish Potato Federation and the Irish Farmers Association.

Speaking about the importance of potatoes to a healthy diet, Hearne said: 'The taste of new season Queens is one that brings back great childhood memories for many. Potatoes go hand in hand with healthy eating for adults and children alike as they are naturally fat free and gluten free and a great source of fibre, vitamin C and a variety of B vitamins. They also contain three times the amount of potassium of bananas.

'It's really important that we dispel the myth that potatoes are fattening. Potatoes, like the new season potatoes that are being harvested this week, provide Irish people with a very important source of carbohydrates, which are essential for our bodies and particularly for brain function. Potatoes are a natural food, both versatile and delicious, making them a great food to include into the diet for all ages.'

The Potato Sector Manager with Bord Bia, Lorcan Bourke, said potatoes are still a firm favourite at mealtimes. He said: '1.65 million Irish households will buy 120 million packs of potatoes, spending an estimated €175 million on them this year. New season potatoes are the real taste of summer for many Irish people, so it's an ideal time to highlight how versatile and nutritious they are. We have engaged Aoife Hearne as potato ambassador for the campaign to remind people of the health benefits of potatoes, as well as pointing out the many ways to use them. We have launched 20 family-friendly summer recipes to show how convenient and versatile the potato is.'

For further information about the Bord Bia campaign and to access to the full list of recipes log onto

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