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August 26th 2010    Tim Candler

    Wonderland of blight in the Potatoes.   I suppose each form of blight has many names.  I have "little black spots".  I have "gone to soup".  I have "scabs".   And I have other horrible things.  But Solzhenitsyn  never had been a farmer when he bemoaned the Russian habit of peeling potatoes before boiling them.

    He had known hunger.   And he had what here in Kentucky is probably called 'book smarts', because Solzhenitsyn knew that in the peel of Potato are those traces of things that allow a person to keep his teeth, his hair and his health, long into pointless senility.

   Then in the grocery store he might have come across the most good looking Potato.  One kept free of blight from the Potato fields in Oregon.  Or his backyard in Vermont.   And because he was a dreamer,  he might have said to himself, "this is a glorious thing and we can feed the world with tractors."

     Solzhenitsyn  died a little before midnight, Moscow time, in August 2008.  He was 89.  And indeed two years ago my August Potatoes were excellent.  I didn't have to peel a single on of them.

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