The countdown to the 2023 season has started with the arrival of Comber Earlies

The countdown to the 2023 season has started with the arrival of Comber Earlies
Joanne Weir from Wilson's Country Potatoes, Gareth Morton, Tesco Northern Ireland and Sandra Weir, Tesco Northern Ireland.

The current spell of good weather has coincided with the start of the Comber Early potato season.

And what a treat local consumers have in store over the coming weeks. The quality of this year’s crops has been boosted by the almost perfect growing conditions from planting in February, great growing weather in April with the spring rain and now the sun is shining for final harvest.

“The continuing spell of warm, dry weather has been the icing on the cake,” said Wilson’s Country’s sales and marketing manager, Joanne Weir.

“The sunshine has helped to boost the all-important taste of the potatoes.”

Much-loved by local consumers, Comber Earlies have a unique heritage dating back to the 1600s.

They are grown in their own microclimate, sheltered by the Mourne Mountains and the Ards Peninsula and protected from frost by the salty waters of Strangford Lough.


“For many consumers, the availability of Comber Earlies represents the start of summer. They have a distinct, earthy flavour and can be enjoyed as part of a main meal or included in salads.

“But for the real connoisseurs of the potatoes, it’s simply a case of steaming or boiling them in their skins, and then adding a nice chunk of melting butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. They are a stand-out treat, even on their own.”

First digging of this year’s Comber Earlies was scheduled for the first full week of June and Wilson’s Country guarantees to have them in the shops within 24 hours of leaving the field.

This means they were aiming to be in all Tesco supermarkets across Northern Ireland by Wednesday 7th June and shoppers were advised they should be on the look-out for the bespoke paper bags.

“We are delighted to be so closely associated with one of Northern Ireland’s most cherished culinary delights,” said Gareth Morton, Head of Category Commercial at Tesco NI.

“Comber Earlies have a provenance that reflects everything positive about farming and food in Northern Ireland. We work closely with Wilson’s Country and local growers to get these on the shelf as soon as they are ready.

“The quality of this year’s crops is truly excellent, so local consumers have something very special to look forward to over the coming days.”