Colorado Potatoes: A Thanksgiving Tradition

November 26, 2020

Colorado is renowned for the variety of agricultural products grown and raised statewide--and that includes potatoes. Colorado is the 2nd largest producer of fresh market potatoes in the U.S., and demand reaches an annual high every November in anticipation of Thanksgiving.

Colorado’s San Luis Valley is home to 150 potato farming families who grow more than 70 varieties of potatoes. With 350 days of sunshine annually and sitting at an elevation of 7600 feet, the valley’s mild summer temperatures are ideal for growing potatoes.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program provides a third-party, unbiased inspection of potatoes before they are shipped. This ensures that Colorado potatoes will meet quality and size standards set by the industry. Colorado fresh market potato inspections have continued without interruption in 2020, with the Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program having made proactive and ongoing adjustments to accommodate issues surrounding COVID-19.  

In November, the volume of fresh-market potato inspection increases to nearly 200,000 more hundredweight than any other month of the year in order to meet Thanksgiving holiday demand. All told, the total amount of fresh-market and processing potatoes shipped from Colorado in November would equate to 351.2 million servings of mashed potatoes!

Potatoes are rich in vitamin C and potassium, naturally gluten free, and low in calories. Russet and yellow variety potatoes are ideal for mashing, and many more recipes can be found at Find Colorado potatoes at farmers’ markets, Kroger stores, Safeway and Wal-Mart.

Photo credit: Savannah Schlaufman, Alamosa, CO. Submit Colorado agriculture photos through the Best in Show Photography Contest.

Source: Colorado Department of Agriculture