Luther Burbank was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts on March 7, 1849. He was an American botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agricultural science. You may think that you do not have a connection to Luther Burbank but you might be interested in learning that you do through a variety of his discoveries.
Luther Burbank was the thirteenth of 18 children and he enjoyed the plants in his mother’s large garden. Brought up on a farm he received only an elementary education. His father died when he was 21 years old, and Burbank used his small inheritance to buy a 17-acre plot of land near Lunenburg.
Wanting to improve the common Irish potato, Burbank grew and observed twenty-three potato seedlings from an Early Rose parent. One seedling produced two to three times more tubers of a larger size than any other. His potato was introduced to Ireland to combat the blight epidemic. Burbank cultivated the strain and marketed the Burbank potato to farmers in the U.S. in 1871.
Then he sold the rights to the Burbank potato for $150 (Back then it was a lot of money) and used the money to travel to Santa Rosa, California. Later a natural genetic variant of the Burbank potato with russet-colored skin later became known as the Russet Burbank potato or the Idaho® potato. This large, brown–skinned, white-fleshed potato has become the world’s predominant…