First earlies are ideal for planting in potato grow bags or large "I'd say Lady Christl, without a doubt," she says. " Here Cavendish and his crew took aboard supplies and ‘a number of bagges of potato rootes’. giving them a chance to be heard, remembered and to To renew a subscription please login first, The Potato Digger by Paul Henry. It was therefore, he argued, the less favourable andigena that was brought to Europe from Colombia. It therefore proved to be rare and expensive in the rest of Europe. One example of a tuber ideally suited for early season planting is the Irish Cobbler, an irregularly shaped variety with light brown skin. It seems improbable that the potato was introduced around this time as it had only just been introduced to Spain, whose conquistadors had known of its existence for more than a quarter century, and at a time when it was not yet known in England. The potato could not therefore have been growing in Virginia as Gerard states. He refers to the Indian name of the potato, which he incorrectly spelt ‘papus’. Even its gardeners, Meeda Downey and Brian Quinn, have temporarily abandoned it to busy themselves elsewhere, planting young sapling trees in the park. After eight weeks, Nicky can’t help digging gently with her fingers to see if she can fish out a couple of the bigger ones. The OPW’s Victorian kitchen garden is in the grounds of the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, beside the Phoenix Park Café and Ashtown Castle. to build an extensive database reflecting Irish lives, Clusius had visited Spain in 1564 and studied many of the new plants, which had been brought from the New World, but he does not mention the potato. First early seed potatoes need to be planted at a depth of 10cm with at least 30cm between each potato. It also contained a large amount of folklore. The introduction of the tuber as a curiosity from Spain through Waterford, seems highly plausible. The Potato Association of America Mailing Address: 37637 Five Mile Road, #399 Livonia, MI 48154 Phone: (734) 239-8022 Fax: (734) 677-2407 E-mail: paaoffice@potatoassociation.org These potatoes, for example, should be ready to plant in my polytunnel by mid-February and for harvesting in about 12 weeks, in plenty of time for Easter.”, Potatoes by Easter? Bred by the Scottish Research Institute (scri.ac.uk), and scientifically proven to have lots of what the Japanese call umami (one of the five basic taste sensations), seed potatoes of this Phureja variety it seems are not to be got here, for love nor money. The Frenchman Charles d’Écluse, or Clusius (1526-1609), a central figure in the spread of the potato in Europe, in 1601 describes a plant with stems up to 7.5 feet (2.28m) and 10.5 feet (3.2m) long, while also noting that the plants were harvested in November. After that, it’s a question of vigilant frost-protection and watering – “but don’t saturate them”. +353-1-293 3568, That field of glory. “I’ve grown hundreds of different varieties over the years,” she smiles, “I’m always curious about new ones.” So, when it comes to recommending the best varieties to grow in polytunnels, she speaks from long experience. Drake left Cartagena on 30 March 1585, after picking up the colonists from the failed Roanoke settlement in Virginia, he arrived in Plymouth on 26 July 1586. Swiss physician, anatomist and botanist Caspar Bauhin (1560-1624), writing in 1620, also mentions that the potato was harvested in November and his potato drawings are similar to the species andigena. These ships brought back various Spanish ‘prize ships’ and also called at Virginia on the return to England. Little did they realise that, once introduced into Europe, the potato would begin more than four centuries of conquest. Plant a few marigolds, wallflowers or Limnanthes douglasii (the poached egg plant) nearby to distract early aphids. It has been argued that the first potatoes brought to Europe came from Chile (subspecies tuberosum), because they had been adapted to form tubers in the long summer days of southern temperate latitudes and would feel at home in Europe where the day length was similar. In 1585 Drake had been in command of twenty-five ships. Fine Edwardian in landmark Limerick terrace for €850k, I got rid of 95% of my stuff, almost everything I’ve ever owned. Personal Histories is an initiative by History Ireland, Having completed his renowned second circumnavigation of the globe in November 1580, he was honoured by a visit from Queen Elizabeth I, who dined with him on board his ship, the Golden Hind (formerly the Pelican), which was lying at Deptford in the Thames estuary, but there is no record of potatoes appearing on the menu. Irish Cobbler sold out no Early Season Potatoes 7690 Mid-sized round to oblong tubers with a smooth creamy texture suitable for baking or boiling. If potatoes came from Virginia in 1586 they must already have been on Sir Francis Drakes’ ships and he may have acquired them from the sack of Cartagena on the coast of modern day Colombia. The story of mashed potatoes takes 10,000 years and traverses the mountains of Peru and the Irish countryside; it features cameos from Thomas Jefferson and a … Receive £5.00 off your first purchase or FREE Vegetable seeds when you shop with us for the first time! Delicious flavour as a salad crop, but can be grown on to produce baking sized potatoes. As long as you’re very gentle with them, you make sure that both the shoots and the roots aren’t allowed to dry out before planting, and you place the shoot on its side rather than planting it upright, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t let the shoots of seed potatoes get that long. But the odd thing is that some of the shoots on these seed potatoes are three, even four inches long – a sight to make the purists wince. Seed Potatoes on Sale at Best Online Prices. The UK-based online garden centre Dobies (dobies.co.uk) stock a relative of Mayan Gold called Mayan Twilight, which they’ll deliver to Ireland (watch out for pp costs). Such tubers could well have been introduced as curiosities by Drake or one of his crew. The first, into Spain about 1570 and the second into England between 1585-1590. Given that the potato thrived in Ireland from a very early date (but not in Europe), it was probably solanum tuberosum rather than andigena that was introduced. They'll be ready for harvest in around ten weeks from planting. Early varieties that mature in less than 90 days are good fits for any garden. On his return to England in 1588, Harriot published A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. IT’S COLD, it’s dark, it’s wet, it’s windy . Most of our popular varieties are above 20% dry matter. With cutting you can expect to plant 14-16 individual “hills”. R.N. The really simple guide to switching your health insurance, Rathcoole Co Dublin is within city reach but has all the calm of the country, Bettystown Co Meath is ideally situated for both Dublin and Belfast, 21 beds, 42 baths, and yours for $340m: Irish architect designs America’s most expensive home, Former DCU president sells palatial Westmeath home for €10m, Ongoing housing shortage drives demand for development land, Retail parks seize opportunity presented by High Street’s difficulty, Ireland’s most expensive street identified in new property report. The English herbalist John Gerard (1545-1612), was indebted to Clusius for information regarding the potato. If Ralegh was in a position to distribute potatoes at an early date, he must surely have got these potatoes from England, since he was never in Virginia and as already mentioned, Solanum tuberosum is not native to Virginia. Isn’t it ironic that the conquistadors of Spain, who first brought the potato to the attention of those outside the Americas, were relatively indifferent to the vegetative gold that they stumbled upon in the 1530s? Generally Queens begin to replace Premier or Home Guard in the market place in late June and become the mainstay of the Irish potato market for the summer. Discover the best new potatoes to grow and eat, below. Click on the green arrow above to get your PROMO CODE and to find out more about our members benefits. Sir Francis Drake-‘introducer of the potato into Europe, in the year of Our Lord 1580′ according to a monument in Offenburg, Germany. Copyright © 2021 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. He tried to visit Virginia on his return from his disastrous venture in Guyana in 1595, but failed. Overseas exchanges with Spain and France involving the export of hides and fish, and imports of wine and cloth were quite substantial. Rather than looking to England and her naval heroes, we should instead look to Spain. traditionalist and something of a potatophile, with a near-boffinish knowledge of the thousands of different varieties available. It is rather unlikely that Drake seized potatoes from the Spanish when there was more valuable cargo to be had, but the period after his return from South America in the autumn of 1573 is an obscure one in his life. “That’s the problem with a lot of conventional gardening advice. So why then is Virginia associated with the introduction of the potato into Britain and Ireland? Early season potatoes reach maturity within 75 to 90 days. All figures relate to production by commercial potato growers, defined as those growing 0.8 hectares (2 acres) or more of potatoes. £5.00 OFF YOUR FIRST PURCHASE. That Ralegh planted potatoes at his Myrtle Grove estate at Youghal, County Cork is probably more myth than fact. Irish potato production has decreased from 332,000 hectares in 1850 to just over 9,000 hectares. Swift Another Very Fast Maturing First Early, About 12 To 14 Weeks.high Yields Of Good Flavoured, Uniform, Firm Fleshed Tubers. Accord Seed Potatoes From: £5.99 A good yielding first early variety of uniform, oval, white fleshed tubers. Given the fact that the Spanish were the first Europeans to encounter the potato in the New World, and the first to cultivate it on the European mainland, it should come as no surprise if the Spanish were responsible for bringing the first tubers to our shores. There are dozens of different potato varieties, usually described as early, second early, and main crop potatoes. Super Early Potatoes Potatoes can be classed as first earlies, second earlies, or maincrop. Tomás O’Riordan tutors in history at University College Cork. Sir Francis Drake (c.1540-96), unlike Ralegh, actually came into contact with solanum tuberosum in the Americas. While he did serve under the Earl of Essex in suppressing a rebellion in Ireland, he does not emerge into the clear light of history until two years later. Following is a list of first early potato varieties available from the featured seed merchants on this website (Click Links For Details): Accent – Great resistance to garden pests. Variety Roundup 'Norland' is a great-tasting, early red-skinned potato. It's extra early, with lovely, waxy, yellow potatoes, very tasty. The Irish Potato Market. SOW:(In small amounts, in gentle heat, to move to a cooler but frost-free spot before planting out in polytunnel from late-February onwards, using fleece at night for frost-protection): Sugar pea (Delikett), broad beans, carrots, oriental salad mixes, Mizuna, rocket, Swiss chard, spinach, Ragged Jack kale (for baby leaves), lettuce, white turnips, leeks and onions. Try some red, purple or yellow-fleshed varieties, or experiment with fingerlings. It is tempting to believe that potatoes came from these Spanish ships which had fallen into English hands. This variety has a white skin and flesh and a notably floury tecture. (National Gallery of Ireland). Blight Resistant Varieties available. Certainly Cavendish had ample opportunities to lay his hands on potatoes during his expedition, but whether he did actually bring back tubers among the proceeds of his exploits will probably never be known. On 16 March, 1587, Thomas Cavendish (1560-1592) English navigator and leader of the third circumnavigation of the globe, stopping at St Mary Island, near Concepción, southern Chile, found ‘cades of straw filled with potato rootes, which were very good to eat, ready made up in the storehouses for the Spaniards, against they should come for their tribute’. Although wild potatoes are found as far north as Nebraska in North America, no species was cultivated outside South America at the time the Spanish arrived in the New World. Spanish credit, both moral and material, almost foundered under the losses. “No, not as long as you use some basic common sense. This implies that potatoes were being grown in Spain for a number of years in order to build up stocks. Salaman has suggested that the potato was introduced in the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Typically you will receive 6-10 potatoes per kg for our Early Season Varieties. Like an early-season Elba for eating quality. However, Robert Southwell’s statement is rather dubious to say the least. They are recorded as holding land in Cork prior to 1609. As follows is an approximate breakdown of the Irish potato market by variety: Could a Covid-19 smell test help bring coronavirus under control? Europe’s imperial glory is only a distant memory. a Good One For Container Growing. (National Portrait Gallery, London). “Rubbish,” says Nicky firmly. The potato as we know it was completely unknown in North America until the seventeenth century, and wasn’t cultivated there until the 1720s when introduced by settlers from Ulster. However, the name papas, was its vernacular not in Virginia, but in its original habitat in the South American Andes. Our mailers are not the usual stream of special offers. Davidson, ‘The History of the potato and its progress in Ireland’ in Journal of the Department of Agriculture, XXXIII, no.1 (1937). So, when it comes to recommending the best varieties to grow in polytunnels, she speaks from long experience. A second contingent of colonists was sent to North America, departing on 9 April 1585. Drake returned to Plymouth in August 1573 after several successful ventures against the Spanish, but had to put to sea again as the friends of Spain were just then in the ascendant at Elizabeth’s court. February), will they then be planted in the polytunnel (18” apart into flat, raised beds). Production Area Ireland’s total production area in 2012 was over 8,700 hectares. It made its first appearance in Europe in the mid-1500s, having been brought from South America by the Spaniards. In his Catalogue of 1599 Gerard added the term ‘bastard potatoes’ to distinguish the potato from the sweet potato, and added that he had received potatoes from their natural home, Virginia. W.D. Nicky’s are what you might call contraband, smuggled over from the UK a couple of years ago and lovingly overwintered as seed potatoes ever since. The president of the Royal Society, Sir Robert Southwell (1635-1702) was recorded in the minutes of a meeting of 13 December, 1693 as stating that his grandfather had ‘brought potatoes into Ireland who had them from Sir Walter Rawleigh after his return from Virginia’. The potato was often referred to as An Spáinneach or An Spáinneach Geal [the white, or kind hearted Spaniard] in its early history. In Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, when Sir John Falstaff, thinking he is about to bed two women, cries ‘Let the sky rain potatoes’, he is more than likely referring to sweet potatoes. First early or ‘new’ potatoes are so-called because they are the earliest to crop, in June. The first journey from Chile to Europe via the Straits of Magellan was not made until 1579, when the potato was already known in Europe. Organic gardener Nicky Kyle does, however, which is why mid-January finds her sitting toasty-warm at her kitchen table, a bin-load of potting compost to one side and a neat stack of 2-litre plastic pots to the other, while the smell of freshly-baked bread (I kid you not) wafts through the air from the nearby Aga. You may also opt for the Norland, a red-skinned potato that is resistant to scab. Of course the potato was known and its cultivation well understood in Munster at a very early date. Gerard’s statement in the Herball, that the potato had come from Virginia is erroneous. Onions along with shallots, leeks, chives and garlic, belong to the Allium family, which including wild varieties has some 325 members. How To Grow First Early Potatoes. A brief history of the potato . Potatoes may well have formed part of the valuable haul taken from Cartagena itself or from the cargoes of plundered ships. Further voyages were made in 1587 and 1590, but no subsequent attempt at colonising was made until 1606. He mentions a stringy tuberous plant called the ‘openawk’, with which the potato has often been confused right up until the nineteenth century, hence the association of the potato with both Virginia and Ralegh. Bred in Northern Ireland it is an all-purpose potato with firm flesh and a good flavour. It's a good idea to chit these varieties before planting, allowing them to produce long shoots from which the plants will grow. It’s just not that accurate. Second earlies (also called ‘new’ potatoes) are hot on their heels, taking a few more weeks to mature. Clearly the Spanish had come to recognise the value of such a commodity. Therein lies the dilemma, since it is not andigena that we see every day on our dinner tables, but tuberosum. Does Green Reit buyer have tax-back case? Wash them, dry them and then store them carefully, loosely covered and in the coolest place you can find – it must be frost-free, though – where the mice can’t get at them. “ It’s extra early, with lovely, waxy, yellow potatoes, very tasty. . The confusion may arise due to Ralegh’s association with a number of voyages to North America. “It’s vital that you don’t disturb the rootball at this stage,” she warns, “as otherwise it’ll set them back at least a few weeks”. After all, conventional gardening wisdom dictates that shoots be no longer than an inch. Traditionally Irish people like a “floury” potato with medium-high dry matter. Cavendish like Drake returned to England around  Cape Horn, and arrived in Plymouth on 9-10 September 1588, with only one of his ships, the Desire, and much plunder. The gardens are open daily from 10am to 4pm, Next week: Meeda and Brian choosing what vegetable varieties to grow, from this years seed catalogues. Published in 1597, his celebrated Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes, containing more than 1,000 species, became the first plant catalogue, and the first to incorporate a picture of the potato. Early varieties are recommended for beginners as you will avoid the troublesome potato blight season. The potato must therefore have been introduced to Spain between 1565 and 1570. That Drake did later come into contact with the potato is undisputed. King Henry VIII, son-in-law of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, was particularly fond of them believing they possessed aphrodisiac qualities, which could provide him with that all-elusive heir. Despite the important role the potato was later to play in Irish history, we still don’t know how the potato reached our shores. Under royal patent granted by Elizabeth I in 1584 to Ralegh, a group of colonists left for North America in April of that year, to map out a route and prepare the way for the main party, which was to follow. The first new potatoes are always a joy but, long after the first earlies have had their moment, other varieties are coming on stream. Among his prizes was the treasure galleon Santa Ann seized off California in November 1587. These can be ready as soon as 10 to 12 weeks after planting. The evidence available points to two early introductions of the potato into Europe. people both in Ireland and around the world. Although Ralegh was mayor of Youghal in 1588-89, he didn’t spend much time in the country. The sweet potato was not only more accessible but also exclusive, as it could only be grown in the climate of Spain. It was immensely popular, providing more than 800 chapters of information on species as they were then understood. “I’d say Lady Christl, without a doubt,” she says. But they don’t have the pleasure of owning their own polytunnel like some other lucky GYOers do. Ever since passing through the Straits of Magellan, Cavendish had attacked Spanish settlements and shipping from the Chilean coast up to Mexico. In front of her, carefully stashed in plastic fruit boxes, is a selection of very well-chitted seed potatoes which, one-by-one, are being gently lifted from the pile, their brittle pink shoots and their spidery white roots tenderly disentangled, before theyre lovingly placed individually into half-filled pots and covered with a nicely fibrous compost. Clusius visited Drake in 1581 and published articles the following year on some of Drake’s plants, but again there is no mention of the potato. So when and how did the potato get to Ireland? Only save from the best, most healthy looking plants, grown outdoors the previous year from certified seed potatoes , and make sure there’s no blight, scabs, bruises or dark patches on the tubers. Don’t follow them with tomatoes either – Nicky suggests courgettes, cucumbers or melons. 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