Saturday, February 11, 2012

Potato Lover's Month

Did you know that February is National Potato Lover’s Month? I sure didn’t. When I was growing up on a farm, every month was potato month. In fact, it was the rare meal, whether it was breakfast, dinner or supper that we didn’t eat potatoes in some form—boiled, mashed, baked, fried, in soup, in a casserole, in a stew—we grew a lot of potatoes and we ate a bunch of them, too.

We called potatoes by a variety of names: spuds, taters, even Murphies (apparently some connection to the Irish who were known for their potatoes). My brother Darrel, a great lover of potatoes as a kid, was nicknamed Murph, which he seldom goes by these days.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, that helps promote the various national promotions, says the average American eats 126 pounds of potatoes each year, which is a good thing as Wisconsin produces 2.2 billion pounds of potatoes making it third in the nation after such potato giants as Idaho and Washington State.

So forget about calories (a medium size spud only has 110), and dig in. Who can’t love a potato, whether its potato lover’s month or not?

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: If all you have left in the pantry is potatoes, you still have plenty to eat.

March 6, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble-West, Madison. Launch of Garden Wisdom.

March 9-11. Canoecopia, Alliant Center, Madison. (Trade show for all things canoeing) I am speaking at 4:30 on Friday, March 9 and at 2:30 on Saturday, March 10. Steve will share Boundary Waters photos as part of Saturday’s presentation.

March 24. Launch of Garden Wisdom book at Patterson Memorial Library Wild Rose. Dinner at six. Contact the library for reservations: 920-622-3835. Presentation and book signing to follow.

March 31-April 1. Morton Arboretum (Thornhill Education Center), Chicago area. Presentation on vegetable gardening, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on March 31. Sunday, April 1, 1:30-3:30 features a vegetable gardening workshop, with tips on planting and caring for a vegetable garden. Additionally, Ruth will discuss preparing vegetables and fruits for canning and freezing.

April 12, 7:00 p.m. Mcmillan Library, Wisconsin Rapids. Garden Wisdom

April 13, 11:00 a.m. Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio. Broadcasting at Fox Cities Book Festival. Garden Wisdom.

April 13, 2:00 p.m. Fox Cities Book Festival, Neenah. Garden Wisdom

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