Routine famine almost disappeared in potato country, a 2,000-mile band that stretched from Ireland in the west to Russia’s Ural Mountains in the east. Many people had to leave Ireland in search of a better life. This is known as the Great Irish Famine. In 1810 the Cork agriculturist Horatio Townsend noted that Irish potatoes were ‘pleasant, mealy, and nourishing’ compared to the ‘watery and ill-flavoured’ varieties prevalent in England. By 1780 it was the staple of the Irish diet. But the potato, like the Catholic Church, is an import to Eire—potatoes are actually Peruvian, from thousands of years back, and didn't make their way to Irish soil until the late 1600s. The high yields of potato crops allowed even the poorest farmers to produce healthy food with very little resources. 28 July 1586: Britain is introduced to the potato On this day in 1586, Sir Thomas Harriot brought the first potato back to Britain from the 'New Found Land of Virginia'. Many things can be made out of them, like fries and hashbrowns. The Irish climate suited it well and before long it was the staple food of almost the entire population. In 1845 a disease called Potato Blight ruined potato crops all over Ireland. Then in 1845, the potato blight hit Ireland (Crosby, 1972). The potato is a member of the nightshade family which includes other "New World" crops like tomatoes, peppers and tobacco. Many people died from hunger because they had no other food to eat. The potato was first brought from the Americas to Europe in 1573 and introduced to Ireland about 1590. As the population of Ireland grew, so did the consumption of potatoes (Crosby, 1972). Question: When did the potato come to Ireland? A better fed Irish population began to grow rapidly, increasing from less than 1 million in 1580 to over 8 million by 1840. Within a year, potato crops across France, Belgium and Holland had been affected and by late 1845 between one-third and one-half of Ireland’s fields had been wiped out. We've been in … By the 1800s, potatoes were a staple in the homes of Irish families. The traditional Irish method of planting the potato was in "lazy beds". The Irish Potato Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, began in 1845 when a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora infestans (or P. infestans) spread rapidly throughout Ireland… When the potato arrived in Ireland it seemed like a godsend, easily grown and nutritious enough to sustain whole families on little else. Tasty Tuber: Potatoes are very versatile vegetables. With milk and one-and-a-half acres of planted potatoes, a family could eat for a year in Ireland (Crosby, 1972). Potato arrived to Britain in 1585, Belgium and Germany in 1587, Austria in 1588, Ireland in 1589 and France in 1600. It lasted for almost 5 years. Yet another curious suggestion for the origin of spud for potato has to do with another name for a potato that is common in Ireland: Murphy. In the beginning, Spanish government used potato as a reliable and easily transported food for their military and navy who while using them did not succumb to the scurvy. They went to places like America and England. Since, for some reason, people named Murphy inevitably get the nickname Spud, and potatoes are sometimes called “Murphy,” the name Spud was also applied to potatoes.However, it is more likely, and often suggested, that the nickname of Spud … In the late 1800s, the modern-day russet potato was born. European adoption of potato was slow but steady. As a result, potatoes evolved and were bred to be larger so that they could feed more people. The people of Ireland became dependent on the potato as their food and livelihood. Well and before long it was the staple of the Irish diet to be larger so that could. 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