In areas of developing countries where no formal seed supply system exists, farmers have devised their own ad hoc method for selecting seed tubers: they sell the largest potatoes for cash, eat the medium-sized ones at home, and keep the smallest as future planting material.For that reason, potato is planted in early spring in temperate zones and late winter in warmer regions, and grown during the coolest months of the year in hot tropical climates.Instead, they grow potato in rotations of three or more years, alternating with other, dissimilar crops, such as maize, beans and alfalfa.With good agricultural practices, including irrigation when necessary, a hectare of potato in the temperate climates of northern Europe and North America can yield more than 40 tonnes of fresh tubers within four months of planting.In most cases, three ploughings, along with frequent harrowing and rolling, are needed before the soil reaches a suitable condition: soft, well-drained and well-aerated.The planting density of a row of potatoes depends on the size of the tubers chosen, while the inter-row spacing must allow for ridging of the crop (see below).During the development of the potato canopy, which takes about four weeks, weeds must be controlled in order to give the crop a "competitive advantage".However, potato can benefit from application of organic manure at the start of a new rotation - it provides a good nutrient balance and maintains the structure to the soil.Against diseases, a few basic precautions – crop rotation, using tolerant varieties and healthy, certified seed tubers - can help avoid great losses.Recommended control measures include regular monitoring and steps to protect the pests' natural enemies.Yellowing of the potato plant's leaves and easy separation of the tubers from their stolons indicate that the crop has reached maturity.However, leaving tubers for too long in the ground increases their exposure to a fungal incrustation called black scurf.During harvesting, it is important to avoid bruising or other injury, which provide entry points for storage diseases.For ware and processing potatoes, storage aims at preventing "greening" (the build up of chlorophyll beneath the peel, which is associated with solanine, a potentially toxic alkaloid) and losses in weight and quality.Seed tubers are stored, instead, under diffused light in order to maintain their germination capacity and encourage development of vigorous sprouts. .

Potato

L. Synonyms[1] List Battata tuberosa (L.) Hill Larnax sylvarum subsp.carhua Vargas Solanum andigenum f. ccompetillo Bukasov & Lechn.digitotuberosum Vargas Solanum andigenum f. dilatatum Bukasov & Lechn.chubutense (Bitter) Hawkes Solanum tuberosum f. conicum Bukasov & Lechn.The potato is a starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum and is a root vegetable native to the Americas.Wild potato species can be found throughout the Americas, from Canada to southern Chile.[3] The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated by Native Americans independently in multiple locations,[4] but later genetic studies traced a single origin, in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia.Potatoes were domesticated there approximately 7,000–10,000 years ago, from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex.[5][6][7] In the Andes region of South America, where the species is indigenous, some close relatives of the potato are cultivated.As of 2014, potatoes were the world's fourth-largest food crop after maize (corn), wheat, and rice.[6] Over 99% of potatoes presently cultivated worldwide descended from varieties that originated in the lowlands of south-central Chile.[9] The importance of the potato as a food source and culinary ingredient varies by region and is still changing.Normal potato tubers that have been grown and stored properly produce glycoalkaloids in amounts small enough to be negligible to human health, but, if green sections of the plant (namely sprouts and skins) are exposed to light, the tuber can accumulate a high enough concentration of glycoalkaloids to affect human health.[11][12] The name originally referred to the sweet potato although the two plants are not closely related.The word has an unknown origin and was originally ( c. 1440) used as a term for a short knife or dagger, probably related to the Latin spad- a word root meaning "sword"; compare Spanish espada, English "spade", and spadroon.Around 1845, the name transferred to the tuber itself, the first record of this usage being in New Zealand English.[15] The origin of the word spud has erroneously been attributed to an 18th-century activist group dedicated to keeping the potato out of Britain, calling itself the Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet.It was Mario Pei's 1949 The Story of Language that can be blamed for the word's false origin.Pei wrote "the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago.Some Englishmen who did not fancy potatoes formed a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet.The initials of the main words in this title gave rise to spud.".other pre-20th century acronymic origins, this is false, and there is no evidence that a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet ever existed.At least six languages (Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Persian and some variants of German) are known to use a term for "potato" that translates roughly (or literally) into English as "earth apple" or "ground apple".Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60 cm (24 in) high, depending on variety, with the leaves dying back after flowering, fruiting and tuber formation.They bear white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow stamens.Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties.Like all parts of the plant except the tubers, the fruit contain the toxic alkaloid solanine and are therefore unsuitable for consumption.Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia.[20] The Andean potato is adapted to the short-day conditions prevalent in the mountainous equatorial and tropical regions where it originated; the Chilean potato, however, native to the Chiloé Archipelago, is adapted to the long-day conditions prevalent in the higher latitude region of southern Chile.[24] Nonetheless, genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species affirms that all potato subspecies derive from a single origin in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme Northwestern Bolivia (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex).Most modern potatoes grown in North America arrived through European settlement and not independently from the South American sources, although at least one wild potato species, Solanum fendleri, naturally ranges from Peru into Texas, where it is used in breeding for resistance to a nematode species that attacks cultivated potatoes.A secondary center of genetic variability of the potato is Mexico, where important wild species that have been used extensively in modern breeding are found, such as the hexaploid Solanum demissum, as a source of resistance to the devastating late blight disease.There are close to 4,000 varieties of potato each of which has specific agricultural or culinary attributes.The distinction may also arise from variation in the comparative ratio of two different potato starch compounds: amylose and amylopectin.Amylose, a long-chain molecule, diffuses from the starch granule when cooked in water, and lends itself to dishes where the potato is mashed.Varieties that contain a slightly higher amylopectin content, which is a highly branched molecule, help the potato retain its shape after being boiled in water.They are typically small in size and tender, with a loose skin, and flesh containing a lower level of starch than other potatoes.[33] They are distinct from "baby", "salad" or "fingerling" potatoes, which are small and tend to have waxy flesh, but are grown to maturity and can be stored for months before being sold.The European Cultivated Potato Database (ECPD) is an online collaborative database of potato variety descriptions that is updated and maintained by the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency within the framework of the European Cooperative Programme for Crop Genetic Resources Networks (ECP/GR)—which is run by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI).Dozens of potato cultivars have been selectively bred specifically for their skin or, more commonly, flesh color, including gold, red, and blue varieties[35] that contain varying amounts of phytochemicals, including carotenoids for gold/yellow or polyphenols for red or blue cultivars.[36] Carotenoid compounds include provitamin A alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which are converted to the essential nutrient, vitamin A, during digestion.Anthocyanins mainly responsible for red or blue pigmentation in potato cultivars do not have nutritional significance, but are used for visual variety and consumer appeal.McDonald's, Burger King, Frito-Lay, and Procter & Gamble announced they would not use genetically modified potatoes, and Monsanto published its intent to discontinue the line in March 2001.BASF developed the Amflora potato, which was modified to express antisense RNA to inactivate the gene for granule bound starch synthase, an enzyme which catalyzes the formation of amylose.Nevertheless, under EU rules, individual countries have the right to decide whether they will allow this potato to be grown on their territory.Commercial planting of 'Amflora' was expected in the Czech Republic and Germany in the spring of 2010, and Sweden and the Netherlands in subsequent years.[41] Another GM potato variety developed by BASF is 'Fortuna' which was made resistant to late blight by adding two resistance genes, blb1 and blb2, which originate from the Mexican wild potato Solanum bulbocastanum.[42][43] In October 2011 BASF requested cultivation and marketing approval as a feed and food from the EFSA.[44][45] In November 2014, the USDA approved a genetically modified potato developed by J.R.

Simplot Company, which contains genetic modifications that prevent bruising and produce less acrylamide when fried than conventional potatoes; the modifications do not cause new proteins to be made, but rather prevent proteins from being made via RNA interference.Genetically modified varieties have met public resistance in the United States and in the European Union.Ferreira et al. (2010) found that the genes for starch biosynthesis start to be transcribed at the same time as sucrose synthase activity begins.This transcription - including starch synthase - also shows a diurnal rhythm, correlating with the sucrose supply arriving from the leaves.The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia[5] by pre-Columbian farmers, around Lake Titicaca.The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancon (central Peru), dating to 2500 BC.According to conservative estimates, the introduction of the potato was responsible for a quarter of the growth in Old World population and urbanization between 1700 and 1900.[53] In the Altiplano, potatoes provided the principal energy source for the Inca civilization, its predecessors, and its Spanish successor.The staple was subsequently conveyed by European (possibly including Russian) mariners to territories and ports throughout the world, especially their colonies.[54] The potato was slow to be adopted by European and colonial farmers, but after 1750 it became an important food staple and field crop[54] and played a major role in the European 19th century population boom.[7] However, lack of genetic diversity, due to the very limited number of varieties initially introduced, left the crop vulnerable to disease.In 1845, a plant disease known as late blight, caused by the fungus-like oomycete Phytophthora infestans, spread rapidly through the poorer communities of western Ireland as well as parts of the Scottish Highlands, resulting in the crop failures that led to the Great Irish Famine.In 2020, world production of potatoes was 359 million tonnes, led by China with 22% of the total (table).Other major producers were India, Russia, Ukraine and the United States.It remains an essential crop in Europe (especially northern and eastern Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia.According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a typical raw potato is 79% water, 17% carbohydrates (88% is starch), 2% protein, and contains negligible fat (see table).The GI of potatoes can vary considerably depending on the cultivar, growing conditions and storage, preparation methods (by cooking method, whether it is eaten hot or cold, whether it is mashed or cubed or consumed whole), and accompanying foods consumed (especially the addition of various high-fat or high-protein toppings).[60] Consuming reheated or pre-cooked and cooled potatoes may yield a lower GI effect due to the formation of resistant starch.In the UK, potatoes are not considered by the National Health Service (NHS) as counting or contributing towards the recommended daily five portions of fruit and vegetables, the 5-A-Day program.This table shows the nutrient content of potatoes next to other major staple foods, each one measured in its respective raw state on a dry weight basis to account for their different water contents, even though staple foods are not commonly eaten raw and are usually sprouted or cooked before eating.In sprouted and cooked form, the relative nutritional and anti-nutritional contents of each of these grains (or other foods) may be different from the values in this table.Each nutrient (every row) has the highest number highlighted to show the staple food with the greatest amount in a dry 100 gram portion.Potatoes contain toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine.These compounds, which protect the potato plant from its predators, are generally concentrated in its leaves, flowers, sprouts, and fruits (in contrast to the tubers).[63] In a summary of several studies, the glycoalkaloid content was highest in the flowers and sprouts and lowest in the tuber flesh.Exposure to light, physical damage, and age increase glycoalkaloid content within the tuber.The concentration of glycoalkaloids in wild potatoes is sufficient to produce toxic effects in humans.Glycoalkaloid poisoning may cause headaches, diarrhea, cramps, and, in severe cases, coma and death.Light exposure causes greening from chlorophyll synthesis, giving a visual clue as to which areas of the tuber may have become more toxic.However, this does not provide a definitive guide, as greening and glycoalkaloid accumulation can occur independently of each other.The Lenape variety was released in 1967 but was withdrawn in 1970 as it contained high levels of glycoalkaloids.However, when these commercial varieties turn green, they can still approach solanine concentrations of 1000 mg/kg (1000 ppmw).In normal potatoes, analysis has shown solanine levels may be as little as 3.5% of the breeders' maximum, with 7–187 mg/kg being found.To be disease free, the areas where seed potatoes are grown are selected with care.[68] These locations are selected for their cold, hard winters that kill pests and summers with long sunshine hours for optimum growth.During the first phase, sprouts emerge from the seed potatoes and root growth begins.In the third phase the tips of the stolons swell forming new tubers and the shoots continue to grow and flowers typically develop soon after.Potatoes grown in a tall bag are common in gardens as they minimize the amount of digging required at harvest.Since exposure to light leads to an undesirable greening of the skins and the development of solanine as a protection from the sun's rays, growers cover surface tubers.Commercial growers cover them by piling additional soil around the base of the plant as it grows (called "hilling" up, or in British English "earthing up").An alternative method, used by home gardeners and smaller-scale growers, involves covering the growing area with organic mulches such as straw or plastic sheets.Home gardeners often plant a piece of potato with two or three eyes in a hill of mounded soil.Even cold weather makes potatoes more susceptible to bruising and possibly later rotting, which can quickly ruin a large stored crop.The historically significant Phytophthora infestans (late blight) remains an ongoing problem in Europe[25][74] and the United States.Since its eggs can survive in the soil for several years, crop rotation is recommended.According to an Environmental Working Group analysis of USDA and FDA pesticide residue tests performed from 2000 through 2008, 84% of the 2,216 tested potato samples contained detectable traces of at least one pesticide.The average quantity of all pesticide traces found in the 2,216 samples was 1.602 ppm.While this was a very low value of pesticide residue, it was the highest amongst the 50 vegetables analyzed.In larger plots, the plow is the fastest implement for unearthing potatoes.This is transported up an apron chain consisting of steel links several feet wide, which separates some of the dirt.The most complex designs use vine choppers and shakers, along with a blower system to separate the potatoes from the plant.Further inspection and separation occurs when the potatoes are unloaded from the field vehicles and put into storage.Curing is normally done at relatively warm temperatures (10 to 16 °C or 50 to 60 °F) with high humidity and good gas-exchange if at all possible.Storage facilities need to be carefully designed to keep the potatoes alive and slow the natural process of sprouting which involves the breakdown of starch.The discovery of acrylamides in starchy foods in 2002 has led to international health concerns.They are believed to be probable carcinogens and their occurrence in cooked foods is being studied for potentially influencing health problems.Chlorpropham (CIPC) is the main chemical used, but toxicity concerns have led to it being banned in the EU.[80] Alternatives are applying maleic hydrazide to the crop whilst it is still growing[81] or the use of ethylene, spearmint and orange oils and 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene.Mechanical ventilation is used at various points during the process to prevent condensation and the accumulation of carbon dioxide.The world dedicated 18.6 million hectares (46 million acres) to potato cultivation in 2010; the world average yield was 17.4 tonnes per hectare (7.8 short tons per acre).The United States was the most productive country, with a nationwide average yield of 44.3 tonnes per hectare (19.8 short tons per acre).There is a big gap among various countries between high and low yields, even with the same variety of potato.Average potato yields in developed economies ranges between 38 and 44 tonnes per hectare.China and India accounted for over a third of world's production in 2010, and had yields of 14.7 and 19.9 tonnes per hectare respectively.[82] The yield gap between farms in developing economies and developed economies represents an opportunity loss of over 400 million tonnes of potato, or an amount greater than 2010 world potato production.[86][87] The food energy yield of potatoes—about 95 gigajoules per hectare (9.2 million kilocalories per acre)—is higher than that of maize (78 GJ/ha or 7.5×10 ^ 6 kcal/acre), rice (77 GJ/ha or 7.4×10 ^ 6 kcal/acre), wheat (31 GJ/ha or 3×10 ^ 6 kcal/acre), or soybeans (29 GJ/ha or 2.8×10 ^ 6 kcal/acre).Climate change is predicted to have significant effects on global potato production.[89] Like many crops, potatoes are likely to be affected by changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, temperature and precipitation, as well as interactions between these factors.Unlike many foods, potatoes can also be easily cooked in a microwave oven and still retain nearly all of their nutritional value, provided they are covered in ventilated plastic wrap to prevent moisture from escaping; this method produces a meal very similar to a steamed potato, while retaining the appearance of a conventionally baked potato.Potatoes are used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, poitín, or akvavit.Livestock-grade potatoes, considered too small and/or blemished to sell or market for human use but suitable for fodder use, have been called chats in some dialects.Peruvian cuisine naturally contains the potato as a primary ingredient in many dishes, as around 3,000 varieties of this tuber are grown there.French-fried potatoes are a typical ingredient in Peruvian stir-fries, including the classic dish lomo saltado.Chuño is a freeze-dried potato product traditionally made by Quechua and Aymara communities of Peru and Bolivia,[96] and is known in various countries of South America, including Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.In Chile's Chiloé Archipelago, potatoes are the main ingredient of many dishes, including milcaos, chapaleles, curanto and chochoca.In the UK, potatoes form part of the traditional staple, fish and chips.Roast potatoes are commonly served as part of a Sunday roast dinner and mashed potatoes form a major component of several other traditional dishes, such as shepherd's pie, bubble and squeak, and bangers and mash.Colcannon is a traditional Irish food made with mashed potato, shredded kale or cabbage, and onion; champ is a similar dish.Boxty pancakes are eaten throughout Ireland, although associated especially with the North, and in Irish diaspora communities; they are traditionally made with grated potatoes, soaked to loosen the starch and mixed with flour, buttermilk and baking powder.A variant eaten and sold in Lancashire, especially Liverpool, is made with cooked and mashed potatoes.In the UK, game chips are a traditional accompaniment to roast gamebirds such as pheasant, grouse, partridge and quail.Halušky dumplings are made from a batter consisting of flour and grated potatoes.In Germany, Northern (Finland, Latvia and especially Scandinavian countries), Eastern Europe (Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) and Poland, newly harvested, early ripening varieties are considered a special delicacy.Boiled whole and served un-peeled with dill, these "new potatoes" are traditionally consumed with Baltic herring.Bauernfrühstück (literally farmer's breakfast) is a warm German dish made from fried potatoes, eggs, ham and vegetables.They are a type of dumpling made from grated raw potatoes boiled in water and usually stuffed with minced meat, although sometimes dry cottage cheese (curd) or mushrooms are used instead.Stamppot, a traditional Dutch meal, is based on mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables.In France, the most notable potato dish is the Hachis Parmentier, named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and agronomist who, in the late 18th century, was instrumental in the acceptance of the potato as an edible crop in the country.Gratin dauphinois, consisting of baked thinly sliced potatoes with cream or milk, and tartiflette, with Reblochon cheese, are also widespread.In the north of Italy, in particular, in the Friuli region of the northeast, potatoes serve to make a type of pasta called gnocchi.A traditional Canary Islands dish is Canarian wrinkly potatoes or papas arrugadas.In the US, potatoes have become one of the most widely consumed crops and thus have a variety of preparation methods and condiments.French fries and often hash browns are commonly found in typical American fast-food burger "joints" and cafeterias.At more formal dinners, a common practice includes taking small red potatoes, slicing them, and roasting them in an iron skillet.Among American Jews, the practice of eating latkes (fried potato pancakes) is common during the festival of Hanukkah.The Acadian poutine is a ball of grated and mashed potato, salted, sometimes filled with pork in the centre, and boiled.Poutine, by contrast, is a hearty serving of French fries, fresh cheese curds and hot gravy.2 are rated as lower in quality due to their appearance (e.g.

blemishes or bruises, pointy ends).Poutine, a Canadian dish of fried potatoes, cheese curds, and gravy.In India, the most popular potato dishes are aloo ki sabzi, batata vada, and samosa, which is spicy mashed potato mixed with a small amount of vegetable stuffed in conical dough, and deep fried.Potatoes are also a major ingredient as fast food items, such as aloo chaat, where they are deep fried and served with chutney.It is a thin pancake of rice and pulse batter rolled over spicy smashed potato and eaten with sambhar and chutney.Poori in south India in particular in Tamil Nadu is almost always taken with smashed potato masal.Vada pav is a popular vegetarian fast food dish in Mumbai and other regions in the Maharashtra in India.Aloo posto (a curry with potatoes and poppy seeds) is immensely popular in East India, especially Bengal.The Aloo gosht, Potato and meat curry, is one of the popular dishes in South Asia, especially in Pakistan.However, it is used in northern China where rice is not easily grown, with a popular dish being 青椒土豆丝 (qīng jiāo tǔ dòu sī), made with green pepper, vinegar and thin slices of potato.In the winter, roadside sellers in northern China will also sell roasted potatoes.The Moche culture from Northern Peru made ceramics from the earth, water, and fire.This pottery was a sacred substance, formed in significant shapes and used to represent important themes.During the late 19th century, numerous images of potato harvesting appeared in European art, including the works of Willem Witsen and Anton Mauve.He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work.Jean-François Millet's The Potato Harvest depicts peasants working in the plains between Barbizon and Chailly.Millet's technique for this work incorporated paste-like pigments thickly applied over a coarsely textured canvas. .

Potato Facts

The potato, from the perennial Solanum tuberosum, is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize.Eventually, agriculturalists in Europe found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other staple crops, such as wheat and oats. .

History of the potato

[2] Cultivation of potatoes in South America may go back 10,000 years,[3] but tubers do not preserve well in the archaeological record, making identification difficult.The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancón (central Peru), dating to 2500 BC.[4] Aside from actual remains, the potato is also found in the Peruvian archaeological record as a design influence of ceramic pottery, often in the shape of vessels.The first written mention of the potato is a receipt for delivery dated 28 November 1567 between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Antwerp.The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancón (central Peru), dating to 2500 BC.[7][8] Aside from these remains, the potato is also found in the Peruvian archaeological record as a design influence of ceramic pottery, often in the shape of vessels.[9] The vessels represented potatoes in three ways: as clear depictions of the vegetable, as embodying a human form (either mutilated or not) or as transition between the two.[9] The fact that the Altiplanos chose to represent the potato in their vessels shows they had great social significance to the people there.The Andean Indians also prepared a dish called papas secas, which was a process that involved boiling, peeling, and chopping.These potatoes were then fermented in order to create toqosh: and ground to a pulp, soaked, and filtered into a starch referred to as almidón de papa.However, the cash crop of the Andean people was chuño: created by letting potatoes freeze overnight, then allowing them to thaw in the morning.Secondly, this long shelf life allowed it to be the staple food for the Inca Armies, due to how well it traveled and maintained its flavor and longevity.[17] In 1553, in the book Crónica del Peru, Pedro Cieza de León mentions he saw it in Quito, Popayán and Pasto in 1538.Basque fishermen from Spain used potatoes as ships' stores for their voyages across the Atlantic in the 16th century, and introduced the tuber to western Ireland, where they landed to dry their cod.In 1588, botanist Carolus Clusius made a painting of what he called "Papas Peruanorum" from a specimen in the Low Countries; in 1601 he reported that potatoes were in common use in northern Italy for animal fodder and for human consumption.It was grown for flowers by Rudolph Jakob Camerarius (1588) and others; John Gerard added the first printed picture of the potato to Herball (1597), although he thought that the plant was native to Virginia.[16] In France and Germany, government officials and noble landowners promoted the rapid conversion of fallow land into potato fields after 1750.Famines in the early 1770s contributed to its acceptance, as did government policies in several European countries and climate change during the Little Ice Age, when traditional crops in this region did not produce as reliably as before.[16][21][22] At times and places when and where most other crops failed, potatoes could still typically be relied upon to contribute adequately to food supplies during colder years.The potato had a large effect on European demographics and society, due to the fact that it yielded about three times the calories per acre of grain while also being more nutritive and growing in a wider variety of soils and climates, significantly improving agricultural production in the early modern era.By the late 18th century, Sir Frederick Eden wrote that the potato had become "a constant standing dish, at every meal, breakfast excepted, at the tables of the Rich, as well as the Poor.".[27] Shipping records from 1567 show that the first place outside of Central and South America where potatoes were grown were the Canary Islands.In former European colonies of Africa, potatoes were initially consumed only occasionally, but increased production made them a staple in certain areas.Peter Boomgaard looks at the adoption of various root and tuber crops in Indonesia throughout the colonial period and examines the chronology and reasons for progressive adoption of foreign crops: sweet potato (widespread by the 1670s), ("Irish") potato and bengkuang (yam beans) (both locally abundant by the 1780s), and cassava (from the 1860s).In India, Edward Terry mentioned the potato in his travel accounts of the banquet at Ajmer by Asaph Khan to Sir Thomas Roe, the British Ambassador in 1675.In 1812 the Russian-American Company's Fort Ross planted a crop, the first in western North America and possibly a second, independent introduction into the continent.King Louis XVI and his court eagerly promoted the new crop, with Queen Marie Antoinette even wearing a headdress of potato flowers at a fancy dress ball.Potatoes yielded from two to four times more calories per acre than grain did, and eventually came to dominate the food supply in Eastern Europe.In the German lands, Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, strove successfully to overcome farmers' skepticism about the potato, and in 1756 he issued an official proclamation mandating its cultivation.It served as a cheap source of calories and nutrients that was easy for urban workers to cultivate on small backyard plots.Potatoes became popular in the north of England, where coal was readily available, so a potato-driven population boom provided ample workers for the new factories.In Ireland, the expansion of potato cultivation was due entirely to the landless labourers, renting tiny plots from landowners who were interested only in raising cattle or in producing grain for market.[42] Potatoes are Canada's most important vegetable crop; they are grown commercially in all its provinces, led by Prince Edward Island.Beginning in the 1960s Chilean agronomist Andrés Contreras begun to collect neglected local varieties of potatoes in Chiloé Archipelago and San Juan de la Costa. .

How the Potato Changed the World

When potato plants bloom, they send up five-lobed flowers that spangle fields like fat purple stars.Her husband, Louis XVI, put one in his buttonhole, inspiring a brief vogue in which the French aristocracy swanned around with potato plants on their clothes.But in the 18th century the tuber was a startling novelty, frightening to some, bewildering to others—part of a global ecological convulsion set off by Christopher Columbus.Columbus’ voyages reknit the seams of Pangaea, to borrow a phrase from Alfred W. Crosby, the historian who first described this process.In what Crosby called the Columbian Exchange, the world’s long-separate ecosystems abruptly collided and mixed in a biological bedlam that underlies much of the history we learn in school.The potato flower in Louis XVI’s buttonhole, a species that had crossed the Atlantic from Peru, was both an emblem of the Columbian Exchange and one of its most important aspects.Equally important, the European and North American adoption of the potato set the template for modern agriculture—the so-called agro-industrial complex.Not only did the Columbian Exchange carry the potato across the Atlantic, it also brought the world’s first intensive fertilizer: Peruvian guano.In the 1940s and 1950s, improved crops, high-intensity fertilizers and chemical pesticides created the Green Revolution, the explosion of agricultural productivity that transformed farms from Illinois to Indonesia—and set off a political argument about the food supply that grows more intense by the day.In 1853 an Alsatian sculptor named Andreas Friederich erected a statue of Sir Francis Drake in Offenburg, in southwest Germany.The longest mountain range on the planet, it forms an icy barrier on the Pacific Coast of South America 5,500 miles long and in many places more than 22,000 feet high.Active volcanoes scattered along its length are linked by geologic faults, which push against one another and trigger earthquakes, floods and landslides.Wild potatoes are laced with solanine and tomatine, toxic compounds believed to defend the plants against attacks from dangerous organisms like fungi, bacteria and human beings.In the mountains, guanaco and vicuña (wild relatives of the llama) lick clay before eating poisonous plants.The toxins stick—more technically, “adsorb”—to the fine clay particles in the animals’ stomachs, passing through the digestive system without affecting it.Mimicking this process, mountain peoples apparently learned to dunk wild potatoes in a “gravy” made of clay and water.But potatoes were also boiled, peeled, chopped and dried to make papas secas; fermented in stagnant water to create sticky, odoriferous toqosh; and ground to pulp, soaked in a jug and filtered to produce almidón de papa (potato starch).Most ubiquitous was chuño, which is made by spreading potatoes outside to freeze on cold nights, then thawing them in the morning sun.Farmers squeeze out the water to produce chuño: stiff, styrofoam-like nodules much smaller and lighter than the original tubers.Immediately after pulling potatoes from the ground, families in the fields pile soil into earthen, igloo-shaped ovens 18 inches tall.In 1995, a Peruvian-American research team found that families in one mountain valley in central Peru grew an average of 10.6 traditional varieties—landraces, as they are called, each with its own name.In adjacent villages Karl Zimmerer, an environmental scientist now at Pennsylvania State University, visited fields with up to 20 landraces.The first Spaniards in the region—the band led by Francisco Pizarro, who landed in 1532—noticed Indians eating these strange, round objects and emulated them, often reluctantly.When Prussia was hit by famine in 1744, King Frederick the Great, a potato enthusiast, had to order the peasantry to eat the tubers.His surprise at this outcome led Parmentier to become a pioneering nutritional chemist after the war ended, in 1763; he devoted the rest of his life to promulgating S. tuberosum.Meanwhile, he set up one publicity stunt after another: presenting an all-potato dinner to high-society guests (the story goes that Thomas Jefferson, one of the guests, was so delighted he introduced French fries to America); supposedly persuading the king and queen to wear potato blossoms; and planting 40 acres of potatoes at the edge of Paris, knowing that famished commoners would steal them.By urging potato cultivation on a massive scale, Parmentier was unknowingly promoting the notion of planting huge areas with clones—a true monoculture.Every year, many farmers left fallow as much as half of their grain land, to rest the soil and fight weeds (which were plowed under in summer).“For the first time in the history of western Europe, a definitive solution had been found to the food problem,” the Belgian historian Christian Vandenbroeke concluded in the 1970s.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.In 1840, the organic chemist Justus von Liebig published a pioneering treatise that explained how plants depend on nitrogen.In 40 years, Peru exported about 13 million tons of it, the great majority dug under ghastly working conditions by slaves from China.The British Farmer’s Magazine laid out the problem in 1854: “We do not get anything like the quantity we require; we want a great deal more; but at the same time, we want it at a lower price.” If Peru insisted on getting a lot of money for a valuable product, the only solution was invasion.But agriculture was then “the central economic activity of every nation,” as the environmental historian Shawn William Miller has pointed out.Ever since von Liebig, farmers have treated the land as a medium into which they dump bags of chemical nutrients brought in from far away so they can harvest high volumes for shipment to distant markets.Before the potato (and corn), before intensive fertilization, European living standards were roughly equivalent to those in Cameroon and Bangladesh today.Probably taken to Antwerp, P. infestans first broke out in early summer 1845, in the West Flanders town of Kortrijk, six miles from the French border.Cormac O Grada, an economist and blight historian at University College, Dublin, has estimated that Irish farmers planted about 2.1 million acres of potatoes that year.Today the nation has the melancholy distinction of being the only country in Europe, and perhaps the world, to have fewer people within the same boundaries than it did more than 150 years ago.Biologists believe that buffalo bur was confined to Mexico until Spaniards, agents of the Columbian Exchange, carried horses and cows to the Americas.Quickly realizing the usefulness of these animals, Indians stole as many as they could, sending them north for their families to ride and eat.Because growers planted just a few varieties of a single species, pests like the beetle and the blight had a narrower range of natural defenses to overcome.If they could adapt to potatoes in one place, they could jump from one identical food pool to the next—a task made easier than ever thanks to inventions like railroads, steamships and refrigeration.Beetles spread in such numbers that by the time they reached the Atlantic Coast, their glittering orange bodies carpeted beaches and made railway tracks so slippery as to be impassable.Farmers didn’t notice, though, because the pesticide industry kept coming up with new arsenic compounds that kept killing potato beetles.In what critics call the “toxic treadmill,” potato farmers now treat their crops a dozen or more times a season with an ever-changing cavalcade of deadly substances.

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Growing Potatoes: How to Plant & Harvest Potatoes

How to Grow Potatoes 7 steps for planting, harvesting and storing potatoes at home By Kevin Lee Jacobs FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: Plants, Design Ideas, Gardening Solutions & More!But in my experience, containers like these require constant attention to watering, and yield smaller harvests than growing in a raised bed.I achieve an enormous harvest—enough to feed two for nearly a year—by planting potatoes in two 4'-x-8' raised beds.The tubers are wildly productive in the well-draining, rock-free soil the beds provide, and the vines require deep watering only once each week.Of all the root vegetables I grow, it is the potatoes that give me the biggest thrill at harvest time.I love to stick my hands in the soil and retrieve the buried bounty, with a yield of eight to ten potatoes for every one that I plant.Step 2: Separate the Eyes Only small, golf ball-sized potatoes should be planted whole.I cut mine so that each segment has two or three "eyes" (the little bumps from which sprouts emerge, as shown in the photo).Either set them out in the sun, or place them on a table or counter in a warm (about 70°F), moderately lit room for three to five days.Gardeners in warm climates often plant around Valentine’s Day, while those in cooler areas may get them into the ground near Easter, or early spring.A good rule of thumb is to aim for 3-4 weeks prior to your last frost date.The closet in my mudroom doesn’t cool off until the outside temperatures plunges to 45° at night.After digging the tubers, I let them sit on top of the raised beds for a few hours to dry, as illustrated.Then I gently brush off any loose soil from the tubers, and place them in double thicknesses of paper bags.If you don’t want to bother with hilling, plant your potatoes 8-9 inches deep.To reduce the chance of infection, never plant potatoes (or tomatoes and other members of the nightshade family, such as eggplants or chili peppers) in the same patch of land without leaving an interval of at least three years.The disease overwinters in tubers left behind during the previous year’s harvest. .

Potatoes

Together, Idaho and Washington produce more than half of the annual supply, which totaled 424 million cwt in 2019, up slightly from the previous year, and was valued at $3.94 billion.The remainder goes to the fresh market, is fed to farm animals or re-used as seed tubers for growing the next season’s crop.However, due to the sheer practicality of the potato—adaptability, generally plentiful crops and relatively long shelf life, combined with the nutritional value—it was soon widely accepted and consumed.The first French fries were served some 80 years later at the White House during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson.China is now the world's top potato producer, followed by India, Russia, and Ukraine.The largest number of processing plants are located in the eastern United States, and they prepare the most potato chips (NASS 2018).The Economic Research Service 2017 forecast estimated that per person consumption of potatoes during 2015 would total 115.4 pounds, a slight increase from 2014.The leading buyer of U.S. potatoes was Japan, followed by Canada, Mexico, and South Korea.The United States also exported potatoes valued at a total of $1.1 billion to these four countries alone (NPC 2018).A total of 3.6 billion pounds of fresh and processed potatoes were imported in 2017, relatively unchanged from 2016.Canada remained the main source of both fresh and frozen potatoes (NPC 2018).Potatoes, Vegetable Research and Information Center, University of California Cooperative Extension. .

The fascinating history behind Peru's humble potato

After originating from the wild Andes of Peru thousands of years ago, they have become a treasured crop worldwide and the star of Peruvian cuisine.The humble potato’s story began more than 10,000 years ago on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in present-day Peru.The Incas are believed to have been the first to cultivate potatoes all the way up in the Andes mountain range, at 3,800 metres above sea level.It became a revered food, as the Incans also used potatoes to treat injuries, predict the weather, and make childbirth easier.Peruvian potatoes quickly became a staple item on Spanish ships and the Conquistadors carried them across the seas to Europe.A few decades later, Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer, writer, soldier and politician, introduced potatoes to Ireland in 1589, on 40,000 acres of land near Cork.They come in every shape and colour, including blue, yellow, red, pink and even bright purple Peruvian potatoes.Varieties like the Peruvian purple potato are incredibly high in antioxidants, making them super healthy.It’s made from slices of boiled potato drenched in a spicy cheese sauce that gets a kick from aji amarillo, a Peruvian yellow pepper.It’s made from marinated strips of sirloin mixed with fried potatoes, onions, tomatoes and soy sauce.This fast food dish is popular among street vendors in Peru and is made from thinly sliced, pan-fried beef, sausages and potato French fries.Served with coleslaw, ketchup or mustard, this is the perfect snack to munch on while exploring the streets of Lima or Cusco. .

The Impact of the Potato

DURING HIS SCIENTIFIC expedition to Patagonia aboard HMS Beagle, British naturalist Charles Darwin became fascinated by a surprisingly adaptable South American plant.In his log, Darwin wrote: "It is remarkable that the same plant should be found on the sterile mountains of Central Chile, where a drop of rain does not fall for more than six months, and within the damp forests of the southern islands.".As well as providing starch, an essential component of the diet, potatoes are rich in vitamin C, high in potassium and an excellent source of fiber.The Spanish conquistadors first encountered the potato when they arrived in Peru in 1532 in search of gold, and noted Inca miners eating chuñu.While the potato slowly gained ground in eastern France (where it was often the only crop remaining after marauding soldiers plundered wheat fields and vineyards), it did not achieve widespread acceptance until the late 1700s.Frederick the Great of Prussia saw the potato's potential to help feed his nation and lower the price of bread, but faced the challenge of overcoming the people's prejudice against the plant.When he issued a 1774 order for his subjects to grow potatoes as protection against famine, the town of Kolberg replied: "The things have neither smell nor taste, not even the dogs will eat them, so what use are they to us?".While they spread throughout the northern colonies in limited quantities, potatoes did not become widely accepted until they received an aristocratic seal of approval from Thomas Jefferson, who served them to guests at the White House.When the European diet expanded to include potatoes, not only were farmers able to produce much more food, they also gained protection against the catastrophe of a grain crop failure and periodic population checks caused by famine.At the same time as the populations of London, Liverpool and Manchester were rapidly increasing, the potato was enjoying unprecedented popularity among farmers and urban workers.The Industrial Revolution was drawing an ever increasing percentage of the populace into crowded cities, where only the richest could afford homes with ovens or coal storage rooms, and people were working 12-16 hour days which left them with little time or energy to prepare food.Not insignificantly, the English were also rapidly acquiring a taste for potatoes, as is evidenced by the tuber's increasing popularity in recipe books from the time.Hot potato vendors and merchants selling fish and chips wrapped in paper horns became ubiquitous features of city life.The fairly sudden shift towards potato cultivation in the early years of the French Revolution allowed a nation that had traditionally hovered on the brink of starvation in times of stability and peace to expand its population during a decades-long period of constant political upheaval and warfare.The Irish population doubled to eight million between 1780 and 1841 — this, without any significant expansion of industry or reform of agricultural techniques beyond the widespread cultivation of the potato.Though Irish landholding practices were primitive in comparison with those of England, the potato's high yields allowed even the poorest farmers to produce more healthy food than they needed with scarcely any investment or hard labor.Whereas most of their neighbors regarded the potato with suspicion and had to be persuaded to use it by the upper classes, the Irish peasantry embraced the tuber more passionately than anyone since the Incas. .

How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Potatoes

Grow potatoes in fall, winter, and spring in hot summer southern regions.Plant potatoes as early as 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost in spring or any time after the soil temperature warms to 40°F (4.4°C).Potatoes need 75 to 135 or more cool, frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.Harvest late winter or spring-planted potatoes before daily temperatures average 80°F (27°C).Loosen the soil to 18 inches (45cm) deep or grow potatoes in raised or mounded beds.Do not grow potatoes where the soil is compacted, heavy with clay, or constantly wet.Potato varieties are classified according to the number of days they require to come to harvest.Grow a variety that can come to harvest in cool to mild, not hot, weather.Early potatoes are the best choice for southern regions where summers become very warm or hot.“Late-season” (also called long season) varieties require 135 to 160 cool days to reach harvest.Late-season potatoes are a good choice for northern regions where the weather stays mild all summer.In mild summer regions, you can plant early, mid-season, and late-maturing cultivars in spring for an extended harvest season.If you live where winters are mild and summers are hot, plant late-season potatoes in winter for harvest in mid to late spring before the weather turns hot or plant early-season potatoes in late summer for a fall crop.In tropical and subtropical regions potatoes can be grown all year round, although they are best planted in summer and autumn for harvest before the rainy season.Potatoes are highly productive and can yield 6 to 8 pounds (3-4kg) of tubers per square yard (meter).You can plant seed potatoes whole, or cut them to about the size of a medium egg, with two or three buds apiece.Two or three weeks before planting, set seed potatoes in a bright, 65° to 70°F (18-21°C) place to encourage sprouting.When seedlings (developing sprouts) emerge, add the remaining 2 inches (5cm) of soil to the hole or trench.Potatoes also can be planted on top of the ground if they are covered with a 12-inch (30cm) thick mulch of straw or hay.Don’t grow potatoes where any of these vegetables have grown in the past four years.When plants grow from 8 to 10 inches (20-5cm)all, add enough soil to cover all but the top 2 or 3 sets of leaves.Continue this process until the maturity date for the variety you are growing then harvest.Avoid planting potatoes near cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, tomatoes, or raspberries.Keep potatoes evenly moist but not wet; water before the soil dries out.Protect the tubers from light by “hilling up” soil when the green shoots or stems are about 4 to 5 inches (10.12.5cm) tall.Surface-planted potatoes can be filled by piling mulch deeply around the plant; you can use straw or composted leaves rather than soil.Handpick both adults and larvae Colorado potato beetles and destroy them.Potato stems and leaves turn brown and flowers fade as tubers below ground mature.Lift potatoes gently to avoid bruising or damaging the skins.To harvest mature tubers, wait until the tops of the plants die back.Leave the tubers in the ground for a few weeks after the tops die back; this will allow the skins to toughen and the potatoes will store better.Use damaged potatoes immediately and store the rest in a dark, dry place, with good air circulation.Set tubers in a single layer in a dark place at 50° to 60°F (10-15°C) for two weeks to cure.Potatoes will also store well in the ground as long as the weather is not too wet or warm.Potato flesh may be white or match the skin color: red, yellow, or blue.Dry potatoes are good for baking and mashing (varieties include ‘Russet Burbank’ and ‘Butte’).Moist potatoes fall apart when cooked; they are a good choice for soups.Check your cooperative extension service for specific recommendations for your area.‘Red Norland’: early season; use boiled, steamed, mashed, or in salads.‘Yellow Finn’: midseason yellow-fleshed variety; all-purpose use; good for mashing and baking. .

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