The potato is a great source of food.
has all sorts of valuable vitamins, grows easily, even in poor soil and in most
kinds of climate.
Large amounts can be grown on a small piece of ground.
The Byrne family eats potatoes at every meal.
Bridget washes the spuds and Mam boils them in the big round pot.
When they are cooked Mam turns them into a big basket outside the door to let the water drain off.
Then she puts the basket of potatoes on the table and everyone peels and eats as much as they want.
Sometimes people leave the nail on their thumb grow long and use it to peel the potatoes
Usually the potatoes are eaten with just salt but sometimes there is some buttermilk to drink.
The family seldom eat meat or fish or any vegetables but, because the potato is such a good food everyone is healthy and well-fed.
All this changes in 1845, when suddenly the potato crop is struck by blight.