2008, The Year of the Potato

Posted By Pamela on Jun 7, 2008 | 10 comments

Ecuador, J-L.GonterreUp until a moment ago, my husband and I were laying in bed listening to the BBC. This all ended when they went into a story on the International Year of the Potato and he went into a laughing fit at the silliness of the Year of the Potato concept. (Image Credit: Ecuador, J-L.Gonterre)

All I could think was, somewhere in the world, there is a team of people who worked to plan the International Year of the Potato just as hard as the team working to plan the 2009 Year of Astronomy.

And somewhere in 2009, some husband is going to hear something about IYA2009 on the BBC and will die laughing.

My husband was just clobbered with a pillow. May that future laughing man share my husband’s fate!

Sure, potatoes don’t have the cool imagery and ability to inspire that astronomy has, but they have the ability to end (or in Ireland cause) famine. So, all you folks supporting IYA2009, I want you to take a moment to consider the potato and have an International Year of the Potato moment.


  1. Happy Potato Year! (No sarcasm intended)

    Off-topic: Tornadoes?

  2. Anyone who’s seen a picture of asteroid Itokawa (say) or Phobos knows that potatoes and astronomy are intimately related. This is something that Swedish-German space artist Claus Schröter knows, and at popast.nu we wrote about him a while back (original post in Swedish is here.

  3. We each choose what we choose to promote. I’m glad your choice is astronomy.

    I was wondering why you were listening to the BBC early on a Saturday morning, but since I just got in from a walk with my husband through the fog, I guess I shouldn’t ask.

  4. Hey, everyone has something that is important to them. If you are a potato farmer or in the agriculture industry or simply eat, then it’s reasonable to say that they can promote their own industry.

    Having said that, I’ll go make some hash browns for breakfast while reading the rest of the astro blog posts of the day!

  5. 2008 is also the International Year of Sanitation.


    It can be more than one year!

  6. The Potato Year has been very much on the mind of us here at the German IYA Committee since last year already as we were well aware of the many UN “Years of” (another list here) – and worried about how to advertise the IYA more effectively than the others typically do.

    The fact that even you – as a U.S. IYA executive! – hadn’t heard about the Potato Year until now is a case in point. Same goes for the current Year of Planet Earth, by the way: Who has heard about that so far? (And they’ve got a huge budget, being funded by all kinds of rich geoscience organizations.) The deep cultural value of astronomy will certainly help us along, but a lot of advertising still needs to be done …

  7. Oh my Gods! You’re not kidding about this.

    Spuds of the Universe…Unite!

  8. Just testing … a wise comment sent here had vanished w/o a trace.

  9. The potato is an excellent source of nutrition and sustenance. The potato can be grown anywhere and is responsible for keeping many people alive. Being a poor and struggling writer, I rely on the potato as an inexpensive and abundant food. Although I do eat meat, I think everyone can do themselves and the planet a favour and trade one or two meat dishes a week and substitute it with unpeeled potatoes.

    It is also the International Year of the Planet Earth which is a good lead in to the International Year of Astronomy. First we study where we are, then we look up to learn where we came from. And we toast it with vodka — made from potatoes.

  10. Potato is a very important vegetable in Terai and some of hilly regions of Nepal.Where as it is known as a staple food in high hills and most of the food deficit areas.Celebration of International potato year is a great meaning for Nepal to increase its production and productivity.


  1. IYP2008 | Orbiting Frog - [...] Star Stryder - 2008 The Year of the Potato [...]

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