Re: [gardeners] A matter of taste

Liz Albrook (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 11:07:01 +0000

Catharine Vinson <> wrote:

> Ma Pat wrote:

> > 	c) That branch of TAMU that trains (note I did not say "educates") 
> > County Agenets has lost its appreciation of the fine distinction 
> > between Gardeners and Growers.
> Where did this unfortunate habit of making a distinction between Gardeners 
> and Growers come about? Is it a natural progression of things? The notion 
> that taste goes out the window once production and consumption are 
> physically separated appears to simplistic to me. 

That's the reason I'd rather consult my horoscope than my county 
extension agent about what varieties of fruits and vegetables to 

Since I live in Idaho let's take potatoes for example.  The local 
agent suggests exactly those varieties that are carried at the local 
nurseries.  Those varieties are the same as the varieties sold in the 
grocery store, the farmer's market and at truck stands up and down 
the state.  Why should I plant those varieties of potatoes when they 
are plentiful and cheap?  Makes no sense.

Yet, right here in Idaho we can purchase unusual and flavorful
varieties from Ronninger's -- something most of us long time veggie
gardeners know.  My agent is never going to recommend that I grow a
fingerling variety or Caribe but they have a taste that the grocery
store varieties.

I think that over the next 20 - 40 years there is going to be a 
backlash against tasteless veggies.  Producing food that can 
withstand the stress of shipping, machine picking, storing and 
processing has been a priority for good reason.  We now have many 
varieties with excellent productivity that meet those needs.  The 
next step will be to put flavor back into the equation.  Flavor is 
going to one day be the edge in what sells and what doesn't.  You can 
see that this is already the case when it comes to onions -- 
Vidalias, Texas Sweets and Walla Wallas sell out rapidly despite the 
fact that they have poor storage qualities.  People are ready for 
veggies that taste good now that they have discovered that veggies 
shouldn't be cooked to death.

I bet Guido would rather have a sauce made with Amish Paste rather 
than those horrible Romas.