Basalt-Firth Since 1900; A Locality History Of the Two Communities and Of the People

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HISTORY OF POTATOES AND POTATO GROWERS The Americans were not the first to have the delightful pota- to. The Indians of Peru raised them in the highlands of South Am- erica and gave them to the Spanish who were their first discovers back as far as 1524. Potatoes were vultivated and irrigated by a very fine system of irrigation and furnished a great portion of the food for the Indians. The Spanish ate potatoes and declared they were deli- cious and took some back to Spain. They were grown more as a nov- elty than as a food. Later, samples were taken to Germany and France. In France potatoes were used as a substitute for grain, as they were an easy crop to raise; the common people soon adopted them. It is possible that the name, "French-Fried", originated from this country. Sir Walter Raleigh raised potatoes on his es- tate and took them to Ireland, where they were given the name of "Irish Potatoes." Although the potato originated in America, it took two hun- dred years in Europe to establish it as a food. From the tiny yellow tuber the Spanish brought from Peru over four hundred years ago the potato has developed into many varieties as we have them today, the "Idaho Russet" being king of them all. Luther Burbank of California was the horiticulturist who noti- ced the many seed eyes and by a careful selection of plants and seeds, Burbank developed the "Burbank Russet". A Mr. Jackson brought this seed to Idaho and started the "Idaho Russet." In 1905 J. C. Jacobsen came to Idaho and started growing and ship- ping potatoes. Many potatoes were affected by scab. This was overcome by experimentation. In 1906, Jacobsen planted scab resi- stant potatoes and the industry became popular all over Bingham 10

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