Wow! I didn’t know that…

Amateur Gardening - - A Gardener’s Miscellany -

The Inca mea­sure­ment of time was based on how long it took to boil a potato. In 200 BC, Peru’s Inca In­di­ans val­ued pota­toes as a mea­sure of time, as well as a food.

If you want to grow pota­toes for their jack­ets, choose the best three for this pur­pose: ‘Maris Piper’ (be­low right), ‘Cara’ (above right) and ‘De­siree’ (above left).

The Es­to­nian Liquor Mo­nop­oly has mar­keted a 98%-proof al­co­hol dis­tilled from pota­toes. Called ‘Fat Mar­garet’ (see pic­ture be­low left), it is con­sid­ered one of the most al­co­holic drinks ever pro­duced.

Pota­toes can com­mit sui­cide. Sci­en­tists at the Max Planck In­sti­tute in Cologne, Ger­many, have ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered pota­toes that com­mit sui­cide if they be­come in­fected by dis­ease. This pre­vents spread of the dis­ease, thus re­duc­ing the need for pes­ti­cides.

Pota­toes have two more chro­mo­somes than a hu­man: they have 48 chro­mo­somes, while hu­mans have just 46. In­ci­den­tally, go­ril­las have the same num­ber of chro­mo­somes as pota­toes, and so do beavers, chim­panzees, deer, mice – and to­bacco.

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