Sowing the Potatoes

Kilkerrin, Co. Galway

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Like all other crops the potatoes are sown in Springtime. The following is a description of the potato crop long ago. At first the land was ploughed by means of a wooden plough, one of which was in every farm house long ago. The ridges were then made from two to three feet wide and the slits were cut. A little bag resembling a school bag was made from canvas and was hung on the shoulder, having two tapes which were tied round the waist. Into this bag the slits were put. The slits were stuck in the ridges by means of a spade. The spade was stuck in the ground and the slits were thrown in at the back and then covered. When the stalks were up above the clay they were moulded. This was done by carting clay from the channel on the ridge by means of a shovel. When the gases were fairly large they were sprayed.

Roast lime and blue-stones

The spray was a mixture of roast lime and blue-stones. Four lbs of lime were mixed with eight lbs of bluestones. The lime and bluestones were disolved and then mixed thoroughly together. This was applied to the gases by means of a brush made from heather. The spray was carried in a bucket which was held in the left arm. When the digging season came, they were dug by means of a spade and were put into pits. This is how the pits were made. At first a channel generally two feet wide and one and half feet deep were dug with the spade. Then the potatoes were piled in a triangular form and then covered with straw and clay. The best eating potato is the “Champion.” Other varieties are: – Garden Fillers, Irish Queens, Red Champions, Up to Dates, American Roses, Flounders, Aran Victors, Aran Chiefs, Aran Pilots, Aran Banners, Great Scots, Golder Wonders, Cornwalls, Cannons, Kerr Pinks.  The early varieties are: Epicunes, Early Roses, Up to Dates, Leinster Wonders, Emperators.

 

Collector: Unknown

Informant: Unknown

Place: Kilkerrin, Co. Galway

Footnote: Duchas, ‘http://www.duchas.ie/

This page was added on 13/05/2017.

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