this is potato blight

Reminder on the Great Famine

In 1845, the first year of the potato blight, the Tory government, led by Robert Peel, did import some corn and grain because he saw that “Hey, those Irish people’s main source of food is suffering from failure. We best import some American corn.”. Sure I hate Tories but I am grateful for Peel sending corn, and also the fact that he’s the reason we call Peelers, Peelers. Then, in 1846, a Liberal government came to power. The laissez faire, free market kind, and those fuckers were like “Naahhh, see, they’re fine. No famine” (That only happened due to Peel’s import of food).

Lo and behold, a fucking famine, and you want to know how they reacted to it? Do fuck all, do literally nothing. They stood back and basically said “The free market will sort it out”. Yet all the while, whilst Ireland’s potato crops were failing and people were collapsing dead, unable to even bury their own relatives, the British government continued to export Irish wheat and grain to Britain. Queen Victoria sent £1,000 of her own money or so, maybe it was £2,000, to show her “generosity”. Then the Ottoman sultan wished to donate £10,000 of his own money but the British government told him not to so he sent £2,000 anyway and 5 ship loads of food which arrived after much harassment from the Royal Navy.

The moral of the story is: Free market capitalism doesn’t actually fix shit. Ask the Irish. Government intervention isn’t such a bad thing at times, sure, I distrust government and I wouldn’t trust the British government with a spoon, but yeah, The Magical Market™ is a load of shite.

Erin Go Bragh. Saoirse go Deo.


“In 1847 during the Irish potato famine, the Choctaw Nation of Native Americans donated $147 to assist with famine relief. The Irish have just completed a monument of appreciation." 

(via "In 1847 during the Irish potato famine, the Choctaw Nation of Native Americans donated $147 to assist with famine relief. The Irish have just completed a monument of appreciation.” by ultimatepoker in pics - Imgur)

anonymous asked:

Do you have any random world building questions? Some maybe off the wall things? I'm trying to work on some more specific ones(So not like where does food come from, what kind of government etc.)

I’m gonna go ahead and just give you some random ones I like to think of when dealing with world building.

• What are some preferred forms of interaction between people? How do they keep in contact? Do they have cell phones or something like that or do they have to send everything by carrier pigeon? How does this affect their style of life?

• What types of plants and animals live in the areas of the world you are focusing on? How do they differ?

• What are some normal sounds for someone to be hearing when walking through this world? How would they differ depending on where you are and how would different people react to them?

• How can you divide the world? Are there areas of low income vs high income? Are there different nationalities? How do these affect connections between people? Is there unity between people or are they divided by these lines?

• What are some common positions people will have? Even ones not directly related to your story are important for building the infrastructure of your world.

• Is there anything really specific that separates the world you’re writing from the one we are living in? Is there a map in the sky that you can reference no matter where you are? Things like that. What would be the first thing you notice if you went to that world somehow? 

• What’s the first thing someone who lives in this world would notice when they came into our world?

Okay now for some fun ones:

• What are some constellations in the world you’re building? Why were they created? Is there a mythology behind them?

• Are there any cultural dances? Did those dances originate from anything? Warrior culture? Hunting dances? God worship?

• Is there anything that has undergone hardship recently? Has there been anything in the past like a potato blight or something that caused mass starvation or thirst?

• Is fire something people are scared of or is it something that people revere or does it depend on the situation? Is it different depending on where you are in the that world?

• What is something people do for fun? Do they go to the movies? Do they go to the beach? Does it depend on the region?

Alright I hope this helped. Let me know if you want anything else!

Inktober day 13: Teeming. Or, potato blight

If I’m ever asked to think of a word out of the blue, inviteably that word will be potato. Unsurprisingly then, when I thought to myself, “What should I draw teeming?” The first word that came to mind wasn’t ants or rats or worms, it was potatoes.

I don’t think this would fall into canon Labalaland happenings, but it could be dreams (or nightmares) of the Sparradile, whose mind for all we know is actually teeming with potatoes. I mean, if it’s based on mine, then that’s accurate.

Shifted - Part 4, Chapter 1

Every Tuesday I’ll be posting a chapter from my brand new AU story. The premise is simple - what if Claire had gotten pregnant with Brianna a month or two earlier in the story, and she and Jamie had re-evaluated their priorities and decided that the cause was lost, and they were able to slip away from the army and quietly return to Lallybroch?

Author’s Note: This is the first chapter in Part 4!

Previous installments…

Part 4 - The Decision

Lallybroch, Autumn 1752

“Shall we not even bother collecting the rents this quarter, then?”

Ian rubbed a hand over his tired face. “I’m no’ saying that, Jamie. Only – ye ken as well as I that many tenants won’t be able to pay in full.”

Jamie leaned his head back on the couch, whiskey tumbler in one hand, eyes closed. It had been a long day of going over the ledgers, counting and re-counting the estate’s bills. What with the lack of rain this summer and the latest levy placed on the land by the English, many crofters simply hadn’t been able to produce. Which meant that come harvest, they’d need much more of their grain for their own families. Times were hard enough – Jamie kent well that there was no point in taking food out of his tenants’ mouths.

It had rained nonstop today. Between the dim candlelight of the study he shared with Ian and all his thoughts trying to balance what to do, he had developed quite the headache. He had them now and again – a legacy of the ax-blow that had nearly killed him eight years before – but today’s was developing into something more potent than usual.

Claire could give him something to make it go away, of course – but she’d had her hands full with a rambunctious daughter today. Brianna was five – sweet as could be, but busy and inquisitive. And as stubborn as both of her parents. She never let her small size act as a barrier for anything she wanted to do – whether that was ride with her da on his periodic visits to the tenants, or “help” her mam gather plants and roots, or supervise Mrs. Crook in the kitchen. Brianna and her cousins had had to stay inside with the rain, and he felt bad for steering clear of the four small whirlwinds. Claire called it “cabin fever” – and he kent well the feelings of frustration that came with such restrictions.

Jamie sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, willing the headache away. “Aye, I know. We’ve got the wool from the sheep, and the beeswax candles – those we can always sell. We’ll live on the potatoes again this winter. And we’ll collect whatever we can tomorrow.”

Soft footsteps – a rustle of homespun – and the cushion beside him on the couch sank slightly. Claire. He reached out a hand and neatly found her palm, twining their fingers together.

“Headache again?” she asked softly.

“Mmphm.” He opened his eyes and met her concerned gaze. She squeezed his fingers. “Nothing ye can’t fix, Sassenach.” She smiled and shook her head.

Jamie’s thumb secretly traced the lines of Claire’s palm. Over Claire’s shoulder he watched Jenny ease through the doorway and sit beside Ian. In the eighth month of her fourth pregnancy, she was still able to move with the same grace as she always did. And in the light of the fire, with the half-darkness cast by shadows highlighting her features, Jamie thought his sister had never looked more serene. Watching Ian, he saw that his best friend agreed.

“We’ll collect what we can, then. We know we’ll be able to eat this winter, and we’ve got enough saved away for the spring planting.” Jamie raised his head from the back of the couch and took a restorative sip of whiskey. “How are we with the second cellar, then?”

For the past year, Jenny and Mrs. Crook had been slowly setting aside spare preserves, potatoes, dried fruits and meats, and other stores in a cave a half-mile behind the house. They’d started laying food away in the second cellar as a precaution – so that if the English patrols stepped up again and sought to take more food as payment, then at least the residents of the main house – including the growing brood of Fraser/Murray children – would have plenty to eat.

Jenny rested one ankle over the other and rubbed her belly. “Weel, all the food we’ve put away is keeping nicely. I was thinking we could put some of the dry goods in there as well – to keep them away from the house.”

“About that, mo dhu.” Ian rubbed one hand over the stump of his leg; Claire knew it pained him in the evenings. “We’ll need to sell more wool from your sheep. And all the candles ye can spare.”

“Is it that bad, then?” Jenny’s eyes darted between her husband and brother. “Are we no’ expecting much tomorrow? That’s three straight quarters now, Jamie.”

“I dinna ken what we’ll get, Jenny. We need to be prepared.” Jamie swallowed. “The damned English are bleeding us dry. And I ken it’s because of me – ”

Jenny drew her dark brows together. “Dinna say that. Times are tough for all the estates – ye ken that weel.”

Claire felt Jamie stiffen beside her. “Ye also ken that the patrols stop by here more often than anywhere else. They want to punish me. They mock who I was, and they want to take that out on my family. Jenny, I – ” He swallowed. “I’m too much of a liability. If I were to go somewhere, and they kent I was away, they wouldna be by here so often, and –”

“Are ye a fool, Jamie? Ye do understand the terms of your pardon, am I right? Because if you set so much as one foot outside estate lands they’ll have you in a wagon on your way to meet the hangman.” Jenny rose from her seat, voice rising. “If ye think that I, or Ian, or God forbid Claire would let ye do that, Jamie – weel, ye dinna understand us at all.”

Ian gently laid a hand on Jenny’s arm. “Hush, mo graidh. Please sit. We’re all tired. He doesna mean it.”

Jenny sank back into her chair, glowering darkly at her brother. A tense silence engulfed the room for several moments, punctuated only by the crackling of the fire.

Unfocused thoughts darted through Claire’s mind. Jamie’s hand gripped her fingers, but she knew his mind was so very far away. Ian had done his best to diffuse the situation – now it was her turn.

“It will go on for several more years yet, Jamie,” Claire finally spoke softly. “But it won’t last forever. Things will indeed go back to normal – or as normal as could be expected.”

Jamie turned to her slowly, eyes unfocused. He had explained to Jenny and Ian that Claire had The Sight – or some form of it - but Claire had never directly referenced the future in their presence.

“Ye’ve seen it, then?” Ian asked quietly. “Do you ken how much longer it will last?”

She nodded, eyes trained on Jamie’s. “For eight years after Culloden. That means two more years yet. After that, the English will get preoccupied with politics and rebellions in other parts of the empire – and so they’ll gradually ease their grip on Scotland.”

Jamie set down his glass and quietly gathered Claire to his chest. “Of course the patrols won’t go away entirely,” she continued, side flush with Jamie’s. “But the weather will improve. And with more to give the English, the less they’ll be so…direct in their interaction with the Scots.”

Ian nodded, thoughtfully. “Aye, I suppose. I trust ye, Claire. Ye were right about the potatoes – they dinna get the same blight as the barley, and we’ll be living on them again for the next seasons. But only –”

“Do ye ken what will happen to us, Claire?” Jenny’s voice was quiet, full of fire. “Or just to Scotland in general? Because I tell you, I do care about the country and our people and what’s happening to us, but at the end of the day it’s my family and estate I care about the most, and –”

“Jenny-” Ian laid a big hand on her arm. “I dinna think-”

“No, it’s a good question.” Claire rested a hand on Jamie’s thigh. “I don’t know what will happen to Lallybroch, just what the English will do in Scotland more generally. I wish I did know. But I can do something that I know for sure will have a direct impact, a direct positive impact.”

Jenny’s eyebrow raised skeptically. “And what’s that, then?”

Claire paused, considering her words carefully. “We can sell my gold ring. That should bring in more than enough to make up for what the tenants won’t be able to pay this quarter.”

Jamie rested one big hand over hers. “Claire, I canna ask ye to do that.”

She smiled into his worried eyes. “You’re not asking me – I’m offering. I’m happy to do it. It’s not doing anything now – I’d rather put it to good use.”

“Yer old wedding ring, ye mean?” The surprise in Jenny’s voice was plain – clearly this was not what she had expected.

Claire squeezed Jamie’s hand tightly. “My first husband, he – well, he’s not alive. I’ll never see him again. That part of my life is fully, truly behind me.” Or ahead of me? She thought dimly.


She lifted her eyes to meet Jenny’s across the room. “Ye’d do that, for us? Truly?”

Claire nodded. Jamie’s slowly caressed her right hand – with his ring – between his two work-roughened hands. “You are my family. This is my home. Jamie knows this, but Jenny – Lallybroch is the only true home I’ve ever had. You and Ian and Jamie and the children are the only true family I’ve ever had. You opened your home to me when you were under no obligation to do so.” She swallowed. “It’s the least I can do. The very least I can do.”

Jenny nodded, lips pursed. She turned to Ian. “I suppose ye can have a wee word wi’ someone about getting a fair price for it, then?”

He nodded and sipped his whiskey. “Aye. I’ll do it the day after next – after we see how much we collect tomorrow.”

Jamie had remained uncharacteristically silent, obviously deep in thought. Just as Claire turned to him he stood, and drew Claire up with him.

“I’ll be down early to read through the ledgers one more time, Ian,” he said, setting one hand on the small of Claire’s back and steering her out of the room. “All right?”

Ian raised one brow, but said nothing. “All right.”

Claire turned, trying to meet Jamie’s gaze, but he quickly pushed her out of the room. “Jamie-”

“Let’s collect the wee lass and spend the rest of the evening upstairs,” he said quietly. “I want – I need – I must be wi’ the two of ye right now.”

Claire frowned as they rounded the corner into the kitchen. “Jamie-”

Too late – their daughter had already caught sight of them, and shrieked with delight from behind Mrs. Crook’s skirts.

Jamie let go of Claire’s back and knelt, catching Brianna as she ran to him. He swept her into his arms, heedless of the jam and mud stains on her smock. “Ciamar a tha thu, mo nighean ruaidh?” he said, voice smiling as she smacked loud kisses on his cheeks.

Claire sighed and met the housekeeper’s weary gaze. “Thank you, Mrs. Crook,” she said sincerely. “I would have been at a total loss with her today, had you not stepped in.”

The older woman smiled, wiping her hands on her threadbare apron. “Ah, it’s no bother, milady – there are always tasks for small hands. She’s a sure handful, but a true delight. Minds me of her da at that age.”

Claire glanced back at Jamie and Brianna. He had picked her up, arms securely around her little legs. Brianna was excitedly telling him all about her day in the Gaidhlig. Jamie nodded periodically, listening intently as if it was the most interesting thing in the world.

Claire’s heart raced. Seeing the two of them together, in moments like this, bringing such joy to each other – it was worth it. They were worth it.

anonymous asked:

If all but one of my grandparents from my paternal and maternal sides are Irish, am I quite Irish?

No you must also produce a blight-free crop of potatoes and hand rear an Irish Wolfhound from a pup and then climb Carrauntoohill on your hands and knees to lick a drop of morning dew off the tallest blade of grass at the peak.

anonymous asked:

Five Guys Burger and Fries: where a small order of fries contain enough potatoes to feed Ireland through a blight

I have never been to Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

You may be familiar with VeggieTales, the American cartoon show about the adventures of talking Christian vegetables. This cartoon is like that, except with fewer speeches about how awesome Jesus is and more potatoes that know martial arts.

It begins with a couple of young corn cobs out for a bike ride.

They watch a parade, then go check out the local farmland. There, they meet some potatoes who are the soldier class of this vegetable world. Everything seems idyllic, but there’s trouble brewing underground.

Said trouble comes in the form of anthropomorphic smuts and blights, which are basically diseases that affect corn and potatoes. They hatch a plan to attack the surface, and when they emerge and start devouring plants, it’s up to the potatoes to defend the crops.

With kung fu.

The 5 Craziest Children’s Cartoons from North Korea

The Lumper Potato (which I lifted on July 14, 2014) played a central role in the story of the Great Famine in Ireland from 1845 to 1852. First recorded in 1808, and soon considered a good livestock feed, this variety was the most widely cultivated and eaten potato in Ireland in 1845. Other popular varieties were closely related to the Lumper.

A family could live off of an acre of potatoes for a year, which is why this was the crop of choice for Irish families living under colonial British rule and renting small plots of land from absentee British Protestant landlords. There was a lot of food grown in Ireland at the time - not just potatoes - but it was grown for market in England, sold at prices most Irish could not afford. So, given that the Irish grew only this potato and its close relatives, when Late Blight hit (yes the same Phytophthora infestans that plagues our tomato crops most years) it wiped out all the potatoes, none of which had a resistance to the disease. This is why genetic diversity in our crops is important.

But the bigger reason for over a million deaths due to starvation, and over a million or (maybe 2?) people fleeing the country was the death sentence of British colonial rule. England continued to extract agricultural commodities, even as so many were dying of hunger, and barely offered aid, despite a world-wide effort to do so. For example, smaller donations (yet with huge sacrifices) came from the Choctaw nation in Oklahoma (just after the Trail of Tears), southern black churches (during slavery), Sing Sing Prison inmates. Larger donations came from many, including the Ottoman Empire, Irish Americans, the Pope, and Quakers. Rarely are so-called ‘natural disasters’ really that.

Epilogue: the Lumper has hardly been seen since the famine, but has been cultivated in Irish and Scottish museum collections. It is making a comeback among seed savers - not for its taste or nutrition (neither are terrific), but for its important history. (Thanks to Chris and the internet for a lot of this info).

This is Mary (Lenihan) Taylor - my great grandmother. She was born in 1885, a couple generations after the famine in Galway, Ireland, where her family had a farm that grew potatoes, carrots, turnips, and cabbage - and they fished in Galway Bay. The farm couldn’t feed 12 people (lots of siblings) so she left for England at 17, met and married her silversmith husband William Taylor by 18, and they moved to the US a year later.

Anyways, I’ll bet she didn’t grow up on the Lumper, but her grandparents must have. I’m so curious how this potato impacted her life and the lives of my English ancestors. Got this info from a 1992 letter from my paternal Grandpa Bob, who had visited the farm.

anonymous asked:

if you dont shit out at LEAST 2 blight ridden potatoes everyday to the tune of the national anthem while gazing at a pic of micheal d then u can hardly call urself irish imo

tru no offence xx

anonymous asked:

what exactly was the potato famine of ireland?

By the 1840’s the potato had become a staple crop for the Irish.  Between 1845 and 1852 a disease blighted the potato crop that caused a crop failure.  This problem was exacerbated by the tenant system, in which lower class tenant farmers worked small plots of land owned by British landlords.  This resulted in Irish farmers having to plant only one species of potato that could grow on small plots of land but provide enough yield to feed the family and pay the landlord. Because these Irish tenant farmers planted a homogeneous crop, their potatoes were very vulnerable to disease.  Despite the blight, landlords demanded the tenants pay up, often leaving Irish tenant farmers with nothing but a small field of rotten potatoes.  What resulted was a massive countrywide famine.

What was worst of all was that due to British export laws, what food was available, such as wheat, barley, livestock, dairy products, and other crops unaffected by the blight were exported to Great Britain.  So basically the Irish were left with nothing to eat.  As a result, 1 million Irish died and another 1 million left the country.

little-wolf-swisher-deactivated  asked:

I'm sorry but GMOs are a bad thing to animal health to all health it doesn't matter the company that makes it, gmos are cancer causing, allergy causing, they are chemicals with bacteria crap, and then the food, grown in poor conditions causing food to loose nutritional value they are very bad for all life!!

Who told you all this? Unfortunately I see a TON of misinformation about GMOs online and any negative things I’ve read are just simply untrue… This is gonna be big and long so hold onto your butts.

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