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Thread: SPUDs research project

  1. #1
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    Default SPUDs research project

    I think this is a great idea - and its still not too late to plant.

    SPUDS (sustainable potatoes united research project) is looking for enthusiastic volunteers for our unusual project.

    They are looking for: social media experts, food bloggers, artists, actors, designers, producers, administrators, photographers, presenters, script writers, chefs, storytellers, everybody and anybody!

    SPUDS is a nationwide community based research project which was developed in response to Teagasc’s application to trial Genetically Modified potatoes in Ireland.

    They are giving away naturally blight resistant potato seed for free to anyone and everyone who is willing to grow it this summer and document their experience.

    These potatoes promise to diminish the carbon footprint of potato cultivation dramatically by illiminating the need to routinely spray fungicide.

    This practice is currently impacting on the health of farmers, the natural environment and groundwater as well leading to fines from the EU.

    European Commission statistics from 2010 suggest that people are more likely to buy a product that provides benefits both to the environment and food safety.
    SPUDS would like to test this theory by giving the public a role in the research process.

    The campaign will need help with a range of activities over the year including the following

    •Packaging, distributing and handing out potatoes to the public

    •Communication with hundreds of participants around the country

    •Fund raising for the project including the development of a FUNDIT Campaign

    •The organisation of a potato festival this autumn

    •Analysing the data from our research and the preparation of a final report

    If you are passionate about developing a sustainable food system in Ireland and would like to offer your support SPUDs would love to hear from you.

    If you do contact them do mention where you got the news from

    Please find further information about the project at www.spuds.ie www.facebook.com/SPUDS.research

    Contacts:

    Nike Ruf

    [email protected]

    086 607 9220

    Kaethe Burt-O'Dea

    [email protected]

    087 244 4185

  2. #2
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    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    Spuds really float your boat, dont they
    Actually "blight resistant" spuds sound like a great crop. Do you know what name they go by?

    Latest report from my own 9 yards of spuds is that they seem to have taken off!! I have earthed them up and now, just a few days later they are way above ground and looking good. That is all except the ones on the sunny end of my drill. They are still struggling. This is the opposite to what I expected, as I said on another of your SPUD threads, I thought the spuds that got most sun would do best, the opposite is in fact happening.

    Now this is probably not true, but, seeing as you got a grá for spuds you might know. Does SPUD stand for "Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diets" I was told this years ago and always suspected it was prime bs. This society promoted the potato as a food when it was first brought to Europe or so I was told, fact or fiction, what do ya think?

  3. #3
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    Default Maidir Le: SPUDs research project

    I gather from the OP link that the distribution of free seed potatoes is over - it is late in the day after all. But a a project I will be looking in on. I missed the date for getting seeds from Seed Savers so all I have now are 'wild' ones peeking up where last year's crop was. I should grub them up I suppose, but there is some Irish thing in me that wants to leave them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    Just dug a few of our "Sharps Express" spuds, mixed results.

    Some of them look really good but some of them seem to be covered by wart-like growths.
    Anyone know what caused that? Simonj?
    Would they be safe to eat? If I poison the family I recon my spud growing days will be over.

    First some good spuds:
    .


    Now the warty spuds

    .

  5. #5

    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    Its potato Wart disease, the old varieties such as Sharpe's Express are susceptible to it. The new potatoes varieties such as Roosters have resistance bred in but unfortunately the old early 1900s do not. Destroy them.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    Thanks JollyGG, They look disgusting, I was surprised how badly affected one spud could be and another beside it look fine. Makes me wary about them all. Maybe I should try them out on the neighbors first. I did not know that "sharps express" were an old variety. Do you know if there is any advantage to them, if not why did they sell them to me, saw the jackeen coming? ( I dont realy think that).

  7. #7

    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    Quote Originally Posted by eamo View Post
    Thanks JollyGG, They look disgusting, I was surprised how badly affected one spud could be and another beside it look fine. Makes me wary about them all. Maybe I should try them out on the neighbors first. I did not know that "sharps express" were an old variety. Do you know if there is any advantage to them, if not why did they sell them to me, saw the jackeen coming? ( I dont realy think that).
    Ohh its the latest trend to impress your friends at the dinner table and serve them up Heritage varieties of vegetables like "Sharps Express" Some of them have good flavour, unusually coloured flesh or shape but most of them are just plants that lack a 100 years of disease resistance bred into them, So either nuke them with pesticides or run the risk of catching every disease around if you don't baby them. A bit of a gimmick really.

    Sharpe's Express is a 1901 English variety, its pretty common today so you see it in most of the Heritage packs you get in B&Q and Garden Centres. The Rooster is one of the newer varieties out there. Some of the other supermarket potato varieties have hung about because they have good flavour, yield, some disease resistence so they could be classed as Heritage but that would run the marketing spin.

    Kerr's Pinks 1907 Scotland
    HomeGuard 1942 Scotland
    Golden Wonder 1906 Scotland
    Record 1925 Netherlands
    British Queen 1894 Scotland

  8. #8
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    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    Thanks for that JollyGreenGiant.
    I found this site ...http://www.europotato.org/menu.php... while looking up "banner" spuds which an elderly relative tells me were grown in Cavan 70 or 80 years ago. Also Kerr Pinks were grown. From a Mayo neighbor comes the report that the banner Potato was often fed to the animals, only occasionally eaten by the family and Queens and Kerr Pinks were also grown, sold and consumed.
    I suspect growing several varieties including ones usually fed to the animals was a wisdom learned as a result of the famine. Grow several varieties and there is less chance of one disease destroying them all. This multi-variety potato (and other crops) growing was just considered common sense. Yet another bit of passed-on wisdom we seem determined to forget.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    I know it's a tad off thread but still spud related. Can be moved if deemed right.

    I recently noted with interest the supposed re-cultivation of the Irish Lumper, that notorious staple diet product of many Irish in Great Famine times and with such drastic consequences. Glens of Antrim Potatoes appear to be the folk who have turned back the clock 170 years odd

    http://www.farminglife.com/news/iris...toes-1-3860644

  10. #10
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    Default Re: SPUDs research project

    Quote Originally Posted by Ah Well View Post
    I know it's a tad off thread but still spud related. Can be moved if deemed right.

    I recently noted with interest the supposed re-cultivation of the Irish Lumper, that notorious staple diet product of many Irish in Great Famine times and with such drastic consequences. Glens of Antrim Potatoes appear to be the folk who have turned back the clock 170 years odd

    http://www.farminglife.com/news/iris...toes-1-3860644
    It would be a shame to see any variety go extinct. Variety is the spice of life, and variety is also a sign of a healthy eco-system.

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