Sunday, September 13, 2009

One potato, two potato...

On a recent trip to Ireland we had a day out at Lissadell House and gardens. It’s a grand 19th century house overlooking Sligo Bay with two fantastically well stocked gardens – one for alpines and the other for crops. The house was completed in 1833 but had fallen into poor repair in recent years. New owners have carefully restored it and cultivated the gardens which were overgrown for over six decades.

To mark the UN ‘International Year of the Potato’ they planted 169 different varieties of spud along the circumference of the walled kitchen garden. Many of the potatoes were from the heritage collection of David Langford which was donated to Lissadell. Their most popular varieties are the Orla, an early, blight resistent potato bred in Carlow in 1999; the Arran Victory, a maincrop potato first bred in 1918 and the Pink Fir Apple, a salad potato bred in 1850.