Next to tourism, agriculture is Florida’s largest industry. Everyone has heard of Florida citrus, sugar cane and winter vegetables, but few know that Irish potatoes have been grown here for over 100 years.
Hastings, FL – “Potato Capitol of Florida”
In the 1890’s, Thomas H. Hastings established a farm known as “Prairie Garden” at what was to become Hastings, Florida. There, using greenhouses, Hastings was able to supply vegetables for the hotels constructed by Henry Morrison Flagler. At about the same time, Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railroad to Prairie Garden and called the station "Hastings Station." This, in turn, permitted the shipping of potatoes to northern markets and the development of the potato industry in Florida. By 1901, the Hastings area shipped 43,000 bushels of Irish potatoes and 23,000 bushels of sweet potatoes and had become the "Potato Capital of Florida”. Irish potatoes can be grown in every part of Florida.
If you would like to grow Irish potatoes in your own garden, here is a link to the complete guide to the successful cultivation of Irish potatoes in any part of Florida: