Jun 6, 2017
Washington potato story told in new documentary

A recently released documentary highlights how potatoes came to be one of Washington’s most important crops thanks to the efforts of early pioneers. The Gamble is a 60-minute piece that explores the personal stories of farm families and their heritage. Through their personal stories viewers learn firsthand what it took to grow potatoes in the state’s early days and how today’s farmers carry on the spirit of the early farm families. The documentary tells the story of how and where potatoes were first grown in Washington and some of the interesting events that helped shape their future. The Gamble is narrated by award winning actor and narrator, Peter Coyote.

The history of potatoes in Washington state date back to the late 1700’s and during the settlement of Washington, farmers jeopardized their families’ livelihood one crop at a time, in the hope of hitting it big each year. The Gamble explores these efforts by detailing how farmers settling into western Washington gambled that below the water of the bogs the soil would provide the perfect offering for potatoes. In contrast the documentary also tells the story of how farmers in central Washington’s Columbia Basin risked everything they had on the chance that water would come from miles away to irrigate their potato crops.

The Washington State Potato Commission sponsored the project to capture the history of Washington’s potato farmers and how the crop would go on to shape the state’s history, culture, economy and more. For more information, visit potatoes.com.

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