Re: [gardeners] A matter of taste

Allen and Judy Merten (
Fri, 26 Jun 1998 14:32:15 -0500

Liz, The main difference in the taste of vegetables that I grow and the ones in
the stores even if they are of the same variety is simple. Timing. I can pick my
vegetables at the optimum time of ripeness. The grower has to pick, pack and
ship. Those vegetables are not going to be picked at maturity, rather at a stage
where they are going to survive shipping. To me there is nothing so stupid in
the produce dept as a sign that says "vine ripe tomatos" hanging over a bin of
grass green tomatos. You are exactly right when it comes to taste being
important. Also nutrition is usually linked with freshness and ripeness. I love
peaches. Ripe ones that smell like peaches. Not hard green ones. Try fresh corn
on the cob that was picked 2 hrs or less before cooking.
              I am glad that our county extension program is so much different
than that I hear about in other states. TAMU even has a web site  called
AGROPOLIS just for urban and suburban gardeners or small farmers. Check it out
sometime. It's different here in Texas. I have two 8" ringed notebooks full of
free info just for the asking. Good Stuff.

Happy Gardening,


Bastrop Co.,Tx

Liz Albrook wrote:

> 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
> plant.
> 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.
> Liz