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Folklore & School Manuscripts
of 1938

How the Old People set potatoes

Potatoes are not set now how they used to be. Long ago the people prepared the ground with spades. They delved the ground first that means digging sods and making them fine.

After that they made ridges about a yard wide. The old people never had any ploughs until very lately they found out how to make wooden ploughs. The smith always made them. The old people did not put manure to put on the potatoes. They would go to the shore early in the morning and gather sea weed called 'wrack' or 'leach' and on the ridges they would lightly spread it. Sometimes they would take cow manure or horse manure. When they would spread the manure on the ridges they would spread a little clay over it. They would take a spade then and make little holes about a foot apart. Then they put down the potatoes one by one with the cut part up. The woman usually cut the potatoes. They cut them so that an was in the middle of each cut.

The old peopple had potatoes called 'black rocks', Irish whites and champion. The champion was the best to eat. When the potatoes would appear up through the ground they would graip them and make the ridges level. Sometimes they would get leach and spread it on the sides of the ridges but that wont serve for the crop that year. It benefits next years crop.

When the potato tops grew big the old people would spread them. They made blue stone out of lime stone. They would put limestone into a a bowl of water for one night and next day they would put it on the potatoes. When the potato tops withered the people used to dig them. But sometimes if the potatoes were required they would dig them up before that.

I got this from my father, Michael Devlin, Dresden, Clonmany


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