Wednesday, 24 March 2021


The last of fifteen so called potato decrees, also known Circular-Ordre, was issued on this day in 1756 by Friedrich II to encourage the cultivation (see also) of the food crop in the Prussian provinces addressed to the landholders of Silesia. Spurred on by a famine in Pomerania in 1746, government administers enforced the planting of potatoes for human consumption and for livestock and enlisted itinerant pastors known as “tuber preachers” to monitor implementation and compliance and teach farmers how to grow them and cook them. Reportedly, in order to reduce scepticism and encourage people to eat this strange, New World vegetable by planting a patch of land with them on the palatial grounds of Sanssouci, guarded by soldiers to pique the curiosity of neighbours and farmers, a bit of reverse-psychology and overlooking the pilfering of the potatoes.