An Irish Farmer Is Reviving A Potato That Hasn't Been Around Since The Irish Famine. Get The Dirt On What This Farmer's Up To.

  An Irish farmer is reviving a potato that hasn't been around since the Irish famine. Get the dirt on what this farmer's up to.

 


An Irish farmer is reviving a potato that hasn't been around since the Irish famine. Get the dirt on what this farmer's up to.



With St. Patrick's Day coming up we have all things Irish on the brain. When you think of what to serve on this favorite Irish holiday, chances are potatoes are one of the first things to come to mind (err, behind the green beer that is).

The Lumper potato, a spud that hasn't been seen in Ireland since the Great Famine, is being grown once more.

As reported by BBC News, farmer Michael McKillop, who runs Glens of Antrim Potatoes, is reviving the Lumper potato for commercial use.

The Lumper was introduced to the area around 1810 and peaked in popularity in the 19th century because it grew well in the poor soil conditions that plagued Ireland.

For poorer families, the Lumper was an opportunity to get a more nutritious diet since the potato is loaded with protein, vitamins and complex carbohydrates.

The potato helped transform the Irish. Until the famine hit.

In 1845, potato crops in Western Europe were hit by a unique fungus that caused mildew to takeover the entire plant, essentially rotting the crop from stalk to root (Post-Gazette.com).

It's estimated that about one million people died in Ireland during the 1840s after the potato crops failed.

The Lumper potato essentially disappeared after the famine -- until McKillop decided to bring it back about six years ago.

Starting with one potato, McKillop grew 28 more. He liked the unique taste of the Lumper and decided to grow them commercially.

Although the Lumper potato has a dark history behind it, McKillop says that it actually tastes quite good.

This week, as we head into St. Patrick's Day weekend, Lumper potatoes are being sold in select stores in Ireland.

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