A close acquaintance with cranberries - where it grows and how to collect itMost likely, both travelers painted the Andean potato.
Full-time acquaintance and the fate of a garden flower
Europeans, having heard about the extraordinary countries and their wealth, could see the overseas plant with their own eyes only thirty years later. Moreover, the tubers arrived in Spain and Italy were not from the mountainous regions of Peru, but from Chile, and belonged to a different type of plant. The new vegetable did not come to taste of the European nobility, and as a wonder it was settled in greenhouses and gardens.
Karl Clusius played a major role in the history of potatoes. At the end of the 16th century, he founded the planting of this plant in Austria and later in Germany. After 20 years, potato bushes adorned the parks and gardens of Frankfurt am Main and other cities, but it was not soon to become a garden culture.
Only in Ireland, the potato introduced in 1587 quickly took root and began to play a significant role in the economy and the life of the country, where the main acreage was always given to cereals. At the slightest crop failure, a terrible famine threatened the population. The unpretentious fruitful potato was most welcome here. Already in the next century, potato plantations of the country could feed 500,000 Irish.
And in France and in the 17th century, potatoes had serious enemies, who considered tubers suitable only for the poor or poisonous. In 1630, the parliamentary decree prohibited the cultivation of potatoes in the country, with Diderot and other enlightened people on the side of the legislators. But still in France there was a man who dared to intervene on the plant. Apothecary A.O., who was in Prussian captivity. Parmantier brought tubers that saved him from starvation to Paris and decided to show the French their dignity. He gave a great potato dinner for the colors of the capital society and the academic world.
Read also: The secrets of growing zucchini: advice from experienced gardeners
The long-awaited recognition by Europe and the spread in Russia
Only the Seven Years War, devastation and famine forced to change attitudes towards the culture of the Old World. And this happened only in the middle of the XVIII century. Thanks to the pressure and cunning of the Prussian king Frederick the Great, potato fields began to appear in Germany. The British, French and others, previously irreconcilable Europeans, recognized the potato.
The first bag of precious tubers and a strict order to start growing in these years was received from Peter I by the Russian count Sheremetyev. But the enthusiasm of such an imperial decree in Russia did not cause.
It would seem that the history of potatoes in this part of the world will not be smooth. Catherine II also promoted a new culture for the Russians and even started a plantation in the Pharmaceutical garden, but simple peasants strongly opposed the plant planted from above. Up to the 1940s, potato riots rattled the country, the cause of which turned out to be simple. Farmers who grew potatoes left the crop stored in the light. As a result, the tubers turned green and became unsuitable for food. The work of the whole season went down the drain, while the peasants matured discontent. The government has adopted a serious company explaining agricultural technology and potato consumption. In Russia, with the development of industry, potatoes quickly became truly the “second bread”.Tubers were not only for their own consumption and fodder for cattle, but alcohol, molasses and starch were produced from them.
Irish potato tragedy
And in Ireland, potatoes have become not only a mass crop, but also a factor affecting fertility. The ability to feed families cheaply and satisfyingly led to a sharp increase in the Irish population. Unfortunately, this dependence in the first half of the XIX century led to a catastrophe. An unexpected epidemic of phytophtoras, which destroyed potato plantations in many regions of Europe, in Ireland caused a terrible famine, which reduced the population of the country twice.
Read also: Useful properties of amazing melon seeds
Some people died, and many in search of a better life were forced to go overseas. Together with the immigrants on the shores of North America were also tubers of potatoes, giving rise to the first cultural plantations in these lands and the history of potatoes in the United States and Canada. In Western Europe, the phytophtora was defeated only in 1883, when an effective fungicide was found.
British colonists and the history of Egyptian potatoes
At the same time, European countries are beginning to actively extend the cultivation of potatoes to their colonies and protectorates. This culture came to Egypt and other countries of the north of Africa at the beginning of the 19th century, but it became widespread thanks to the British on the eve of the First World War. Egyptian potatoes went to feed the army, but at that time the local peasants had neither experience nor sufficient knowledge to obtain serious harvests. Only in the last century, with the advent of the possibility of irrigating plantations and new varieties, potatoes began to produce abundant crops in Egypt and other countries.
Indeed, modern tubers have little resemblance to those that were once brought from South America. They are much larger, have a rounded shape and excellent taste.
Today, potatoes in the diet of many nations are taken for granted. People do not think or even know that the real familiarity of humanity with this culture took place less than five hundred years ago. They do not know the origin of potatoes on a plate. But until now, scientists are seriously interested in wild species that are not afraid of many diseases and pests of cultivated varieties. Specialized research institutes work to preserve and study the unexplored possibilities of the plant all over the world. In the homeland of the culture, in Peru, the International Center for Potatoes created a repository of 13,000 samples of seeds and tubers, which became the golden fund for breeders all over the world.
Potato Story - Video