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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: State veggie or not, spud eligible for free ad


February 24. 2013 8:34PM

Good question, from one of the guys in the newsroom wondering about the story last week of some Derry kids convincing the state House of Representatives that the white potato should be our state vegetable.

Setting aside whether or if we actually need a state vegetable (Idaho and Maine would seem to have dibs and branding value from potatoes already), the question was why the town (along with nearby Londonderry) that claims to be the white potato's first North American home was then known as Nutfield.

"Why wasn't it Spudsville, for Pete's sake?"

Apparently, early settlers from Northern Ireland who brought the spuds with them in the late 17th century, also found the area rich with chestnut trees, so Nutfield seemed an appropriate name. Perhaps they should have kept it. I imagine visitors from Ireland or the British Isles who drive up I-93 today must get a bit confused when they see one town named Derry and the next one named Londonderry. Back in Belfast, the City of Londonderry is called by its proper name by all loyal Orangemen, while it is just "Derry" to followers of the Pope.

If they had named the area for the potato, as my colleague suggests, their slogan could have been "This spud's for you."

But white potato? Don't be surprised if potatoes of color start protesting this blatant favoritism.

If you have some potatoes of any color to sell and you are selling them for under $300, total, Union Leader Classifieds will run your three-line ad for free.

You read that right. To celebrate our new self-serve online ad features, we are including a new program offering a free three-line classified ad for any merchandise item or items with a total value of $300 or less.

The free ad will run for three days. For more information on this or on the overall self-serve classified ad program, go to Or call Classified at 669-1010 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Decided to get rid of that Mr. Potato Head after all these years? List him for free with us. But our people aren't babes in the woods of Nutfield, so don't try to list your spouse along with the spuds.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or via Twitter at?@deucecrew.

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