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Produce Profile by Mark "Guido The Gardner" ® Ferro
Valentine's Day

Pick a theme. Any theme! In that course I never took on newspaper article writing, I would have learned to be timely in my topic selection. Given that, we have Valentine's Day on Saturday, President's Day on Monday, and (I'm stretchin' here ...) Ash Wednesday on the way!!

The one fruit folks think of for Valentine's Day is the strawberry. But truth is, they are not all that wonderful yet. They're OK, but all the cold weather down on the central California coast has kept them from ripening real nice.

Given that, I'm going into another direction, but gingerly. (No pun intended.) In the spirit of l-o-v-e, how about fresh goodies as aphrodisiacs. At any one time, LOTS of goodies were thought to have special humma-humma powers, but I don't have that much space. Here are some highlights.

Picture an asparagus spear. 'Nuff said. Next.

Another elongated veggie, carrots were also thought of to have special powers. The Greeks had a potion called philtron (that is actually the Greek name for carrot). The word "philtron" actually translates to love or magical potion. Devious Roman soldiers boiled carrots in broth in the hopes that their female captives would run amok.

The tomato as an aphrodisiac came about due to its shape resembling a heart. Most of the basis for all this produce as love potion came about due to its shape or size. The tomato being a good example of that.

I like this one. Potatoes were considered an aphrodisiac. Not because of what they resemble, but because of this creative reasoning. Irish families had lots of kids. Irish families likewise ate lots of potatoes. Hence the spuds led to baby making!

Ok, this one here I need to be careful. It is about our common avocado ... which grows on trees. And hang there. Sometimes in pairs. If you don't get this, email me at guidothegardener@earthlink.com for an explanation.

If any of you regular readers are noticing, this article is shorter than most. The reason is that although there are lots more examples of produce as love potions, I'm finding it difficult to describe it all properly in a family newspaper!

Maybe I should have concentrated on President's Day and written about cherry trees or Lincoln logs. Talk to you next week!