Call it the great potato-sweet onion détente. A year ago, the Washington Potato Commission tried to make hash of an endearing legislative...
Call it the great potato-sweet onion détente.
A year ago, the Washington Potato Commission tried to make hash of an endearing legislative proposal by Kirkland Junior High students. The 9th-graders wrote a one-line bill declaring the culinarily-renowned Walla Walla Sweet Onion the state's official vegetable. Sponsored, naturally, by Walla Walla state Rep. Maureen Walsh, the sweet-onion bill sailed through the House but stalled in the Senate. Potato leaders testified the honor should be theirs as the producer of a bigger cash crop. A half-hearted Senate proposal to give both veggies their due — declaring the sweet the state's official bulb and the potato the state's official tuber — never gained traction. And teacher Toni Miller's students got arealistic civics lesson.
But all that disagreement has been plowed under. Recently, Walsh said Jim Jesernig, the potato commission's lobbyist and former state agriculture director, approached her and said the mighty and — we would add — magnanimous potato would not get in the way of the onion's status grab.
It's all good. Or, as Walsh testified before a House committee Tuesday, "Frankly, onions and potatoes are a lovely combination."
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