Promotion/Marketing, Trends

US: Fryeburg farm putting a value on potatoes

Farmer Don Thibodeau poses for a portrait in front of a mountain of potatoes in a storage building at Green Thumb Farms. Derek Davis/Staff PhotographerFarmer Don Thibodeau grew up in Aroostook County in the era when a potato was vaunted, but hardly pampered. The packaging was a brown paper bag. If there was value being added, it was at home and involved sour cream and butter. Today he grows potatoes on 725 of his 2,400 acres at Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg, and adds value like nobody’s business. Through Maine Distilleries, which Thibodeau co-founded, he has a means of making use of his ugly potatoes, the ones too imperfect to qualify as table stock. His prettiest potatoes are being used for value-added products like “Steamables,” a product available nationally via a network of eight family-owned farms called Fresh Solutions Networks, of which Thibodeau is an owner/director. More

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