The humble spud takes pride of place among seed savers

Written by TOM BROWNE

THIS season's new potatoes,repparttar first earlies, have been onrepparttar 145307 market forrepparttar 145308 past few weeks.

Most ofrepparttar 145309 crop are Home Guards and British Queens of fairly good quality are also on sale now.

In Capparoe, in Scarriff, in East Clare,repparttar 145310 potato has a status all of its own.

Onrepparttar 145311 20 acres of gardens and orchards ofrepparttar 145312 Irish Seed Savers Association,repparttar 145313 early potato crops have blossomed and fine yields are expected.

Many ofrepparttar 145314 old varieties have been grown, some even saved from extinction.

Some were indeed endangered species, but expert horticulturalist Frank Bouchier and his staff have saved them, thankfully.

Culinary,repparttar 145315 spud seems to have lost its important place onrepparttar 145316 kitchen table.

Modern tastes groomed onrepparttar 145317 cuisine fashions acquired during travels abroad no longer putrepparttar 145318 same emphasis onrepparttar 145319 quality ofrepparttar 145320 potatoe its texture and its flavour.

Inrepparttar 145321 pastrepparttar 145322 early potato was more or lessrepparttar 145323 product ofrepparttar 145324 town, suburban or cottage garden, rather than a farmer's crop ofrepparttar 145325 late variety that matured later inrepparttar 145326 year.

The Emergency years too were very important forrepparttar 145327 early potatoes.

This wasrepparttar 145328 era when townspeople were given plots or allotments byrepparttar 145329 Government so that they could produce essential food.

May Queens and Land Leaguers were widely grown atrepparttar 145330 time.

The Irish Seed Savers Association, launched about ten years ago has been a particularly significant inrepparttar 145331 horticultural scene.

Founded by Anita, an American who lives with her husband, Tommie Hayes, an Askeaton man, in Feakle, she realised that many ofrepparttar 145332 old varieties of potatoes, apples and vegetables could be lost.

The gardens at Capparoe have expanded recently and Frank Bouchier, a Dubliner, has now about 40 potato varieties safe and well.

Some were collected from gardeners aroundrepparttar 145333 country who had protected them overrepparttar 145334 years; others fromrepparttar 145335 Department of Agriculture garden centre at Raphoe in Donegal.

"We had a potato day in June where we tasted (with butter only)repparttar 145336 eight first early varieties we have in our collection," Frank, told me.

About 50 guests sampledrepparttar 145337 spuds and for devotees ofrepparttar 145338 tubersrepparttar 145339 results are interesting.

Smooth Refreshing Smoothies

Written by Donna Monday

More people today are discoveringrepparttar healthy benefits of drinking a delicious, refreshing smoothie for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Instead of soda pop at your next meal or diet cola, consider whipping up a smoothie made with fresh fruit, yogurt, skim milk or juice.

Smoothies will give you a real energy boost and are healthier for you than cola or soda.

Online you will find recipes for popular smoothies like: banana smoothie, blueberry smoothie, chocolate smoothie, jello smoothie, mango smoothie, peanut butter smoothie, strawberry smoothie, tofu smoothie, and tropical smoothie.

Here is a sample ofrepparttar 145306 kinds of smoothie recipes you will see:

Banana Creamsicle Smoothie with bananas and orange juice

Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie with blueberries and pineapple orange juice

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