Maintenance and scaling up potato growing and consumption heritage in Northern Baltic region to build up resilient communities

Heritage potato days in the Kupittaa Allotment Garden and the Kuralan Kylämäki open-air museum: a celebration of tradition and taste

04 July 2024
In May 2024 the MainPotRe project's Finnish partners hosted and participated in two events where every visitor had the opportunity to learn about old potato varieties heritage potatoes.
Technical details

On May 9th, the MainPotRe project’s Finnish partners, Luonnonvarakeskus and Kupittaa Allotment Garden, hosted a heritage potato-themed afternoon in Turku. The event attracted around 280 visitors and included potato information, presentations of potato recipes from austerity-era 1940s Finland, the MainPotRe potato survey, and certified seed potatoes. Researcher Maarit Heinonen from Luke presented the MainPotRe project. The allotment garden, which features a plot of 1940s-style kitchen plants, including the ‘Ruusunperuna’ potato which is one of the synonymes for ‘Early Rose’ in Finland and the ‘Hiliman potato’, was also open for tours. Children and those who feel like children were encouraged to create potato art using traditional potato printing techniques. Visitors had the opportunity to taste a potato dish and a dessert from the recipe booklet ”Pelastajana pottu. Pula-ajan perunaruokaohjeita”.
On May 19 in Turku, the Finnish partner of the MainPotRe project, Luonnonvarakeskus, participated in the Kurala Kylämäki event called “Suvipäivät” at the Turku Museum Centre. The day had about 200 visitors.
The City of Turku owns Kuralan Kylämäki, a museum and cultural recreation area that preserves a rural milieu from the 1940s and 1950s with its buildings, gardens, meadows, fields, and plants.
The museum area, among other things, maintains the handicrafts and working methods that have shaped the village’s current traditional landscape. Engaging the public and passing on handicrafts from one generation to the next is a key goal.
Old potato varieties such as ‘King Edward’, ‘White Elephant’ and ‘Haalikas’ are grown in the museum areas. The MainPotRe project will supplement the potato collection this summer with the potato varieties ‘Jaakko’ and ‘Karjalan Musta’.
The program included potato information, presentations of the booklet of potato recipes from austerity-era 1940s Finland, the MainPotRe potato survey, and certified seed potatoes. Luke’s researcher, Maarit Heinonen, presented the MainPotRe project.

Text and photos: Maarit Heinonen, Luke