The Irish Potato Famine occurred in the mid 1800s. From 1842-1855 one million people died due to starvation and hundreds of thousands of others emigrated. Because of small farm sizes and a vaste system of landlords and middlemen collecting rent from those who actually worked the land, the Irish people depended on potatoes. The staple survived in the tough agricultural conditions and provided enough calories (although definitely not enough nutrition) for the families which ate them for every meal. When disease struck the staple crop of potato, disaster ensued.
A farmer in Northern Ireland has decided to revive the old variety of potato, over 170 years after the famine. Says the farmer:
“I am interested in some of the older varieties of potatoes. I had heard about the Lumper and read in books that it was soapy and tasted bad. But I wanted to taste it to see for myself,” he said.
“When I was at a show in County Down, a man gave me one and I planted it in the garden, From that one, I grew 28 wee potatoes and I thought they tasted lovely, so I grew them again.”
Is this the best idea? Perhaps this farmer should make sure he plants a few other varieties as well? 😉