Re: [gardeners] A matter of taste

George Shirley (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 16:58:43

At 02:46 PM 6/25/98 -0600, you wrote:
>>That's the reason I'd rather consult my horoscope than my county 
>>extension agent about what varieties of fruits and vegetables to 
>County agents are pretty good on old Amurrican food such as meat and taters
>(as long as they're Idaho taters), but they know zilch about other cuisines
>or even exotic foodstuffs (might's well use that word) like wild mushrooms.
>>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 somethingis missing here, such as a verb?
>>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.
>Amen, sister.  Romas succumb to every disease that blows through our
>valley.  Yet nurseries tell me the vast majority (well, maybe half vast) of
>people who buy tomato seedlings ask for Romas.  The fact that that's the
>variety extension home economists know best is not a coincidence.  Margaret
Our extension service people are next to useless. Had high hopes for the
new "hort" agent that came into the parish a while back. He's another
useless bureaucrat. His demonstration garden that the news media has been
raving about is nothing but common annuals and perennials in the flower and
shrub class. Asked him again about a Master Gardener class and he said
there wasn't enough interest to start one. When asked how he figured that
out he said I was the only one to ask for the class. "How about some public
service announcements to gen up interest", I asked. "Go ahead, he replies,
you've got my permission." Turns out the little old ladies in the flower
arranging garden clubs are fawning over him and he thinks he's doing what's
needed. Asked about getting the state farm bulletin and he gives me a
non-800 number in Baton Rouge to call and request it. Being familiar with
the state bureaucracy I know better than that. Think I'll go get in the
class over in Texas.

Also asked about a Master Food Preserver class while I was in the extension
office and no one knew anything about them. Sheesh, bureaucrats.