Potatoes grow underground.
Potatoes grow on the roots of a plant.
Potatoes have small buds, called 'eyes'.
Potatoes are a healthy food.
Potatoes form underground on the roots of the potato plant
The part of the potato plant that we eat grows underground on the plant's roots. Above ground there are leaves, flowers, and fruit which we do not eat, and which are in fact poisonous.
Potatoes have small buds, called 'eyes', and new plants grow from these, not from the seeds of the fruit. Potatoes are tubers which form on the end of underground stems.
Potato farmers plant potato 'eyes' in ploughed and fertilised paddocks. After about 100 days, 15 or 20 potatoes have grown on each plant.
The potatoes are dug out using a machine called a potato harvester, which lifts the potatoes out of the soil. Then the potatoes are sorted and packed into sacks and boxes.
Potatoes are the fourth largest crop in the world.
Potatoes can be cooked in many different ways (boiled, baked, fried) and can also be frozen and dried. Potatoes are a good food, as they contain protein, calcium, vitamins C, B and D as well as niacin.
History of potatoes
The potato plant is a native of South America. Spanish explorers took the plants back to Europe 400 years ago. The British brought potatoes to Australia when they started their colony here in 1788.