Baked, boiled, fried: potatoes leading U.S. vegetable crop

Whether mashed, hashed, baked, boiled, fried or dried, potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States.

Whether mashed, hashed, baked, boiled, fried or dried, potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States. Now, two Cornell faculty members -- and one of their dads -- have joined forces to publish "The Complete Potato Grower's Guide: What Every Grower and Gardener Needs to Know" (Timber Press).

It is "the only comprehensive resource for home gardeners and commercial potato growers" in North America, say the book's authors: Walter De Jong, Cornell associate professor of plant breeding and genetics who oversees Cornell's applied potato breeding program and potato molecular genetics laboratory; his father, Hielke De Jong, a longtime potato breeder and fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada; and Joseph Sieczka, professor emeritus of horticulture at Cornell.

The 260-page book provides comprehensive growing information for 55 certified disease-free varieties for home and commercial growers, including information on classification, plant structure, natural history; origin; conventional and organic production techniques; pests and diseases; usages in cuisine and culture, curing and storage; special techniques for growing potatoes; cultivar development; genetic resources; and versatility in food and nonfood uses and each variety's culinary qualities.

The plant profiles include 191 color and 14 black-and-white photographs, most taken by Cornell photo specialist Kent Loeffler, of the exterior and interior of the tuber and a succinct description of each variety's physical and culinary qualities.

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