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

MainPotRe supports events and gains recognition during Vidzeme Innovation Week 2024

07 March 2024
On March 1st, in Cēsis the conference "Potatoes Unite" took place.
Technical details

The MainPotRe project’s leading partner AREI organized several events within Vidzeme Innovation Week 2024. They all were about collaboration, sharing, a shift in perspective, and seeing potential in such a humble resource as potatoes.

On March 1st, in Cēsis the conference “Potatoes Unite” took place (also online: , organized by the AREI, the Cēsis History and Art Museum, and Cesis Inside, educating about the history and breeding of potatoes, providing culinary surprises, and also revealing the art of potatoes. The conference allowed for the examination of potatoes from various perspectives, covering many more areas than just cultivation and cuisine, but also literary science, history, and art.

Anda Briede from “Cēsu rajona lauku partnerība” said: “Today I spent time in the “potato people bubble”. I concluded that I fit very well into this community myself. During the lectures, there was even an opportunity to eat potato salad sandwiches – EXCELLENT service and attitude! Jeffrey Allen Price’s “potatoism” philosophy will make us look at potatoes in very different ways – even as art. Eat, grow, and be proud of potatoes, so that together we can create many stories, collaborations, and added value to potatoes”.

In a notable turn, the project’s associated partners – the Latvian Permaculture Association – enthusiastically declared after the event: “POTATOES PROUDLY ENTER THE CESIS CASTLE! The gathering was to celebrate this seemingly ordinary yet truly fascinating globetrotter of a crop. The saying, ‘Do not judge a man by his hat,’ aptly applies to the potato as well, highlighting the unexpected depth and variety found within this common tuber”.

Project leader I. Dimante told the newspaper “Druva”: “Potatoes are so diverse, those who work with them know it, but others maybe don’t. We want to talk about both the history and the future of potatoes. There is a great interest in potatoes, as evidenced not only by the events organized this week but also by the fact that they have been studied by researchers in various fields, even literary figures, and artists”.
Guest of the event, potato artist Jeffrey Allen Price shared his observations during his brief visit: “I see and feel how traditionally significant the potato has been to Latvians. However, to put it figuratively, it seems that Latvia has repressed potatoes and seems shy about taking pride in its ‘potato culture.’ I wish for the tradition of growing and using potatoes to be restored to its former glory”.