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by
Susan Martin - Heritage Interpretation

Pratie Oaten celebrates the “Devil’s Apple”

Susan Martin - Heritage Interpretation

As the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer 2015 begin to fade into memory and the cool crisp days of autumn take centre stage, it is once again time to celebrate our Irish Heritage and the much loved potato, as Grey Roots Museum & Archives presents our annual Pratie Oaten Irish Festival.

When the native South American Potato was first brought to Great Britain, the pious among the population refused to have anything to do with it. It grew underground so it was believed to be part of “Satan’s Realm”, not deemed fit for consumption by “god-fearing people.” After this rejection, the potato was sent to the “colony” known as Ireland and by 1700; potatoes were widely cultivated throughout Eire. For Irish tenant farmers with barely an acre of land to work, the potato was a god send. These nutritious tubers produced larger and more reliable yields than those growing grain. The average Irish peasant would eat between 8 and 14 pounds of potatoes each day. This “nearly perfect” food transformed Ireland.

Pratie Oaten (pray-tee oat-en) celebrates not only our Irish Heritage but also the “Devil’s Apple” known and loved as the potato.

Celtic music will be featured as part of the day. Our perennial favourites, Scatter-the-Cats will be joined by Muddy Yorke and the Fiddlefern Dancers and Callers. These talented folks are guaranteed to get your Irish juices flowing. There will be vendors, demonstrators and, of course, our costumed volunteers will be on hand to share the stories of our Grey County heritage.

Food is another important part of the day; we are pleased to welcome the Kiwanis Food Truck to keep everyone fed and happy. In addition, we have samples of Steam Engine Potatoes, Apple Cider and, of course, no visit to this event would be complete without a piece of Pratie Oaten, Irish potato oat cakes.

For many of us, Pratie Oaten has become an institution. Don’t miss this year’s chance to experience this unique event or, if you are a newcomer to the area, why not start a new family tradition? Pratie Oaten is on October 4, 2015, from 12:00 – 5:00 pm at Grey Roots.

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