Agriculturalists soon found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other staple crops, such as wheat and oats; potatoes produce more food energy than any other European crop for the same area of land and require only a shovel for harvesting. For all these reasons potatoes became, by 1650, the staple food of Ireland, and they began to replace wheat as the major crop elsewhere in Europe, being used to feed both people and animals. The first mention of potatoes appearing in North America comes from Irish settlers in Londonderry, New Hampshire during 1719. By the end of the 18th Century the potato had become popular in France, due to the advocacy of Antoine Augustine Parmentier, an employee of King Louis XV.













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The potato became such an important food for the Irish that the popular imagination automatically associates it with them today, but its early history in Ireland remains obscure. One speculation has it that the potato may have originally arrived in Ireland washed ashore from wrecked galleons of the Spanish Armada (1588). Another story credits the introduction of the potato in Ireland to Sir Walter Raleigh, who did finance transatlantic expeditions, at least one of which made landfall at Smerwick, County Kerry in October, 1587, but no record survives of what botanical specimens it may have carried or whether they thrived in Ireland. Some stories say that Sir Walter first planted the potato on his estate near Cork.

Above Pictures Are from The U.S.D.A.












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