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White potato earns NH honor as official vegetable

CONCORD - The humble white potato is about to become the state's official vegetable.

The Senate Thursday approved House Bill 535, which makes the white potato the state vegetable. The House approved the bill on a 276-75 vote earlier this year.

The bill had its genesis at the Derry Village School, where students researched the origins of the white potato in North America and found it was first planted in a field near the school in 1719, in what was known then as Nutfield.

According to the bill's prime sponsor, Rep. John O'Connor, R-Derry, the Rev. James MacGregor of Northern Ireland came to America with a bag of seeds and planted them in Derry.

Virginia had claimed the title of first state to plant potatoes in North America, but recently conceded that New Hampshire holds the distinction.

After the vote, Gov. Maggie Hassan said she would sign the bill.

grayno@unionleader.com



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