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Spud Niche: Radio Observatory Land Used to Grow Potatoes

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MAGNUS MANSKE
/
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

An effort by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to encourage growers to consider potato production has landed at a spot known for its extraterrestrial activity - the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank.

 
The last of six five-acre plots on observatory property was seeded with potatoes last week.

 
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the work was done by teams of Pocahontas County farmers using a state-owned planting machine.

 
State Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick is promoting the potato as a cash crop. Last year 36 growers in Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam and Wayne participated.

 
Green Bank operations director Mike Holstine says the idea to use the land started after a Marlinton supermarket closed in May 2015, leaving the community with one full service grocery.
 

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