Episode 109 - The Potato States   addthis
No matter how you slice them—from French fries to chips and everything in between, the potato has been a staple of the American diet throughout our history. This venerable vegetable is grown in fifteen states, with Idaho leading the way.



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The first Russett Burbank potato, that great mainstay of the American diet, was created by botanist Luther Burbank in Massachusetts in 1871.

It came along just in time to help end the long Irish potato famine. In the 1840s, a blight (plant disease) nearly wiped out all of Ireland’s potato crop, the mainstay of the Irish diet. Many poor people starved to death and many of those who didn’t ended up moving to the European continent, Canada, and the United States. The Russet Burbank potato proved to be relatively blight-resistant and helped to revive Ireland’s potato farms.

Burbank sold the rights to his famous potato for $150 – just enough to pick up, move west and continue his work in California.

Maine is so much more than potatoes. History, Acadia National Park, seafaring villages: all await in Maine. Find out more by going to www.visitmaine.com or www.mainetourism.com

Idaho offers a wealth of attractions from high alpine lakes, to sophisticated resort towns, world-class skiing and a rich frontier history. There’s plenty of trip-planning information at www.visitid.org

Idaho Farm Bureau
Idaho Department of Agriculture

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