Why Tattie Tales?
The October school holidays has, in many parts of Scotland, always been known as the Tattie Holidays. For locals this is not, of course, news, but those of you from further afield might like an explanation.
The potato harvest traditionally happens in October and until relatively recently tatties were lifted by hand. In a rural area like this, it meant that for a few weeks a year all hands, large and small were needed to bring in the harvest during the small window of opportunity in October. Even as recently as the mid 1980s, town and country dwellers, adults and children, joined forces to work along the neat rows to pick the potatoes into baskets after the digger had scattered them from the drill. Communities supplemented their income this way, and the annual potato harvest was the reason why the October school holidays were lengthened to two weeks in these parts, rather than the single week in England and some other regions. These days, increased mechanisation means that people no longer gather in the tattie crop by hand, but the two week school holiday remains. I don't think many twenty-first century children complain. After all, it's still a long time until Christmas.
So here you have it, starting tomorrow, a week of Tattie Tales from the people who make up Logie Steading. A homage to the humble spud.. Enjoy!
Potato harvest image source: Peter Small's article, 'Looking into the history of the "tattie holidays"' in the Press & Journal, October 2018.