294 Years After First Planting, White Potato Becomes Official State Vegetable

Jun 4, 2013

Governor Hassan makes it official, with some help from Derry Village Elementary School 4th graders.
Credit Faith Meixell / NHPR

 On Tuesday, Governor Hassan signed a bill declaring the white potato as New Hampshire's official state vegetable. She did so surrounded by a group of 4th graders from Derry Village Elementary School. North America’s first white potato was planted in their town in 1719.

Hassan praised the students for pushing the bill, and also the openness of the democratic process here.

“We have a very long tradition in New Hampshire of everybody being engaged in their communities and in their state government, and you all have demonstrated that it is never too early to start,” says Hassan.

While the Governor didn’t weigh in on the vegetable’s nutritional value, Keene State Health Science Professor Karrie Kalich says that the potato--a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber-- is better than its fast food reputation suggests.

“Not the most nutrient dense vegetable choice, but, hey, it’s not a Twinkie,” says Kalich.