The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Tag: Lissadell (page 1 of 2)

Spudless Sunday

Those who have read this blog over the years will know that I have written about the Dave Langford/Dermot Carey heritage potato collection many times.

Their 225+ varieties of potato, including many rare, old varieties of Irish interest which, for many years, they have displayed and spoken about at events countrywide, have made for a wonderful educational resource, a living history and an important part of our food heritage.

This past weekend I learned of an incredibly severe blow to the collection, a too-harsh lesson in the fragility of preserving old and rare varieties and of not better supporting the people who do that important work for us. While all is not entirely lost, there is much that is, and a challenge has been set for those who really believe that such things are worth preserving.

For the past six years, mid-March has been writ large in my calendar. Not, as you might imagine, because of St. Patrick’s Day in all of its greenery but rather, because it is at or around this time of year that the Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim, hosts its annual Potato Day.

Potato Day Sign

It’s an event presided over by Hans Wieland, and a time for people to stock up on seeds for the coming season, to get advice from expert growers, and to hear talks on subjects of interest to the gardener of potatoes, be it on the importance of soil (the subject of an excellent presentation given this year by Trevor Sargent) or on GM or blight resistant spuds, or even a spin through the latest in spud developments from around the world (which was my contribution to this year’s event).

And ever-present, every year, has been a diverse display of potatoes – the rare, old and unusual spud collection that has been amassed, maintained and nurtured over a great many years by Dave Langford, and ably assisted in that task for the past 8 or 9 years by master vegetable grower Dermot Carey.

potato display

From my first Potato Day excursion in 2009:
what was to become the familiar sight of varieties from the Langford/Carey collection on display

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Spud Sunday: Northern Sights

It was a spur of the moment Sunday.

Instead of remaining glued to my weekend pillow, this morning found me beating a path towards the Crawfordsburn Growing Festival in Northern Ireland’s County Down. It was a mission undertaken, as ever, in the name of spuds.

Helen's Bay

Helen's Bay, gateway to Crawfordsburn Country Park

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Spud Sunday: Spud Police

Spud police are looking through my tubers
Spud police are talking to my niece
Spud police have got their final orders
Spuddy, drop your fork, it’s Spud police!

…to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s Jazz Police

Actually, the Jazz Police may just arrest me for mangling the words of maestro Leonard Cohen.

And if they don’t get me, the potato police just might.

Potato plant

Exhibit A: (some of) my potato plants

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