Field patterns in County Mayo, Republic of Ireland

Grass covered ridges are what remain of the tiny fields that were used to grow potatoes in County Mayo, Republic of Ireland. Each small field was all that was available to feed a whole family, and potatoes were the only crop that could be grown intensively to produce enough food. This single crop led to a potato blight and the great famine. Millions died, the fortunate were able to leave the country for America and Australia. Famine fields suitable only for grazing sheep still define the landscape nearly 200 years later.

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