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Subject: Potatoes In Iceland
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Fudge <fudge[at]mv.igs.net>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 17:05:45 -0400
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   I am an amateur radio operator. Several years ago I spoke with a chap in
Iceland. I said I was an organic farmer and was in the process of planting
potatoes. He replied that he was having little luck growing potatoes in his
backyard garden as the season was not long enough . I sent him about 2 kgms
of a Canadian designed potato called "Yukon Gold". This spud has superior
storage characteristics and matures in only sixty days. I had visions of an
Icelandic Customs Officer eating these seed potatoes with salted herring. I
asked no money for the seed only that if he was successful with that strain,
he pass some seed on to others. The man just seem to disappear. I never did
find out if he was successful. Eastern Canada, Maine and of course P.E.I.
are quite close. What is the status of the potato in Iceland?  Can a sixty
day potato from Canada thrive in Iceland?

Farmer John

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From: Mike Reid <clevermick[at]fellwalk.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 08:53:48 +0100
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Following up to "Fudge" 
>The man just seem to disappear. I never did
>find out if he was successful. Eastern Canada, Maine and of course P.E.I.
>are quite close. What is the status of the potato in Iceland?  Can a sixty
>day potato from Canada thrive in Iceland?

I dont know about varieties, but I was assured by an Icelander
recently that they do produce quite a lot of potatoes in the south.

From what I saw of the island it seems amazing that they can grow
anything!
They do BTW, grow bananas under glass, using geothermally heated
water, but these are more of a gimmick than serious farming. 

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From: Judith <JudithG[at]nospam.indiatimes.com>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 19:31:03 GMT
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Mike Reid wrote:
> From what I saw of the island it seems amazing that they can grow
> anything!

Iceland is depressing.  I have been there 4 times and needed serious doses
of Zoloft after the last time.

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From: Arri London <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 17:28:48 -0600
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Judith wrote:
> Iceland is depressing.  I have been there 4 times and needed serious doses
> of Zoloft after the last time.

Definitely a case of YMMV.
Iceland is one of the most beautiful and impressive
countries I've ever seen. Quite exhilarating and I was
unhappy to have to leave each time.

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From: Mike Reid <clevermick[at]fellwalk.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 19:06:54 +0100
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Following up to Arri London

>Definitely a case of YMMV.
>Iceland is one of the most beautiful and impressive
>countries I've ever seen. Quite exhilarating and I was
>unhappy to have to leave each time.

i'm with Arri, did you go in winter Judith? :-)

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From: Arri London <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 16:39:11 -0600
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Mike Reid wrote:
> i'm with Arri, did you go in winter Judith? :-)

If she didn't, I did. And in summer.

If I were there really long term, I suppose the short days
in winter would get on my nerves eventually.
However, the lamb, fish and potatoes would go a long way as
tranquillisers! Not to mention the skyr.

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From: Judith <JudithG[at]nospam.indiatimes.com>
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 06:11:32 GMT
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Mike Reid wrote:
> i'm with Arri, did you go in winter Judith? :-)

Once each season.  My ex spent a lot of time there and didn't like it, so I
expect I was predisposed not to.  I find black empty spaces leary.  There
were a lot of those.

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From: Mike Reid <clevermick[at]fellwalk.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 09:28:20 +0100
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Following up to Judith
>  I find black empty spaces leary.  There
>were a lot of those.

ahhh, black empty spaces. Less is more! 

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From: Arri London <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 18:16:38 -0600
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Mike Reid wrote:
> ahhh, black empty spaces. Less is more!

That is precisely what I found so astounding about Iceland.
The empty spaces were stunning in a way that I cannot
explain. So very different from the empty spaces I've seen
in other countries.

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From: Sandi Dunlap <westie.nut[at]verizon.netInvalid>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 07:22:28 GMT
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Arri London wrote:
> That is precisely what I found so astounding about Iceland.
> The empty spaces were stunning in a way that I cannot
> explain. So very different from the empty spaces I've seen
> in other countries.

Having lived in Iceland for a year, I would agree with you  Arri. It is hard
to expalin but the vast emptiness, especially with a FULL rainbow was pretty
awesome.

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From: Arri London <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 17:33:39 -0600
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Sandi Dunlap wrote:
> Having lived in Iceland for a year, I would agree with you  Arri. It is hard
> to expalin but the vast emptiness, especially with a FULL rainbow was pretty
> awesome.

LOL! Will have to cogitate on that for a while. There must
be the right set of words to explain this. In every other
country I've been in, empty spaces were merely empty. Not
impressive or stunning.

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From: Mike Reid <clevermick[at]fellwalk.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 10:08:22 +0100
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Following up to Arri London 
>LOL! Will have to cogitate on that for a while. There must
>be the right set of words to explain this. In every other
>country I've been in, empty spaces were merely empty. Not
>impressive or stunning.

Perhaps "empty" is insufficient description! Certainly empty of people
and trees.
Do you know Rannoch Moor in Scotland by any chance? Its not literally
empty but it has a quality of space. Deserts usually have it too. IMO
Iceland is at its best when one small feature is set in a "empty"
space.
 If your interested look at this page and go to the last picture (some
of the photos are others copyright BTW, I have been using the
temporary page to discuss photography elsewhere)

"http://www.fellwalk.co.uk/t_emp.htm"

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From: Arri London <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 17:04:55 -0600
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Mike Reid wrote:
> Perhaps "empty" is insufficient description! Certainly empty of people
> and trees.
> Do you know Rannoch Moor in Scotland by any chance? Its not literally
> empty but it has a quality of space. Deserts usually have it too. IMO
> Iceland is at its best when one small feature is set in a "empty"
> space.

I live in a desert and have visited many others. They were
just empty, nothing more. Perhaps the Saudi Arabian desert
or the Sahara might have the same qualities we are trying to
pin down, just for sheer scale.
Been to Scotland but not Rannoch Moor, so cannot comment.

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From: Mike Reid <clevermick[at]fellwalk.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 09:41:36 +0100
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Following up to Arri London 
>I live in a desert and have visited many others. They were
>just empty, nothing more. Perhaps the Saudi Arabian desert
>or the Sahara might have the same qualities we are trying to
>pin down, just for sheer scale.

perhaps living in one negates the effect?

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From: Arri London <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 18:49:02 -0600
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Mike Reid wrote:
> perhaps living in one negates the effect?

Don't think so. After all, I had to see it for the first
time at some point. That first time had little effect,
unlike my first visit to Iceland.

It must be a matter of perspective, preferences etc. Other
people I know were unimpressed by Iceland and absolutely
stunned by desert.

What I found stunning was a canon/canyon in a state park in
Utah. Sunrise at the rim was definitely impressive.

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From: sigvald[at]binet.is (Sigvaldi Eggertsson)
Date: 7 Jun 2002 03:59:17 -0700
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Fudge wrote:
>  What is the status of the potato in Iceland?  Can a sixty
> day potato from Canada thrive in Iceland?

The growing season seems to be long enough here in Iceland, most of
the local consumption is from domestic production and we have a
growing season from middle to late may until late september, long
enough for growing potatoes in most of the country.

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From: Pat Meadows <pat[at]meadows.pair.com>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 15:36:12 GMT
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Sigvaldi Eggertsson wrote:
>The growing season seems to be long enough here in Iceland, most of
>the local consumption is from domestic production and we have a
>growing season from middle to late may until late september, long
>enough for growing potatoes in most of the country.

That would be plenty long enough for potatoes.  We live in
northern Pennsylvania and our growing season is shorter than
that!

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From: Arri London <biotech[at]ic.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 17:26:55 -0600
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Fudge wrote:
>  What is the status of the potato in Iceland?  Can a sixty
> day potato from Canada thrive in Iceland?

Iceland is self-sufficient in potatoes, and has been for a
very long time. The growing season wasn't the problem for
the backyard grower. I doubt seriously Icelandic customs
would have allowed possibly contaminated foreign seed
potatoes into the country.

Local Icelandic varieties of potatoes do perfectly well.
They are also much tastier than Yukon Golds.


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