Local Color

The normal experience of vegetables is limited by what ships well and by the way many people stick to the familiar. Breeders have been trying to develop a square tomato because it would fit boxes better for shipping. They stick to white potatoes because people have usually only seen white potatoes.

And this is too bad because we are cheated of the full range and flavor of fruits and vegetables that are available. Potatoes come in a variety of colors and flavors. If the Irish hadn’t all grown one kind of potato, the blight that created the nineteenth century potato famine would have been far less disastrous because some would have been less vulnerable.

So I usually grow red, white, and blue potatoes. What could be more patriotic than a red, white, and blue potato salad for the Fourth if July weekend? I did grow yellow potatoes for a while, but they were less useful for our purposes. For white potatoes, Green Mountains are the best. John Steinbeck write an essay about them called “The Delectable Mountains.”

Maybe with the increase of farmers’ markets, we’ll get more variety. If not, complain. Or grow your own.

Today I came back from the garden with a few radishes, some red carrots, some purple pole beans, a few yellow tomatoes, and patriotic potatoes.

Leave a comment

Your comment