A 1699 source (over one century after the event) says 'The potato .... Was brought first out of Virginia by Sir Walter Raleigh, and he stopping at Ireland, some was planted there, where it thrived well and to good purpose, for in three succeeding wars, when all the corn above ground was destroyed, this supported them; for the soldiers, unless they had dug up all the ground where they grew, and almost sifted it, could not extirpate them.' [1]
(http://www.finnvalley.ie/irelandsown/spuds/potato.html).














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Whatever the source, the potato became popular in Ireland both because of its high productivity and because of the ability to easily hide it underground. English landlords also encouraged potato-growing by Irish tenants because they wanted to produce more wheat - if the Irish could survive on a crop that took less land, that would free a greater area for wheat production.

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