UN International Year of the Potato 2008

As 2008 comes to a close, I decided it’s time to pay tribute to the United Nations International Year of the Potato (IYP), with the following image, captioned…

“A Latvian Potato Farmer markets her spuds at the Riga Market.”


I was moved to capture this image because of the woman’s striking resemblance to…well….a potato!

She watches over them with a humble pride, like a new mother admiring her offspring. Every few moments she would pick up a couple and move them around, perhaps to display the most beautiful ones on top. The more I studied her, the more I wanted to buy her potatoes.

Her hands say that she personally pulled each and every potato from the dirt, and her face says that she has been doing this her whole life. The pouch around her neck says that her life depends on the potato.

The selling of a potato requires no fancy marketing, no flashy signs and no shiny plastic packaging with “pre-washed” stamped on the bag. The potato simply is what it is, and the world doesn’t question it’s value.

For this Latvian woman, the potato is her labour, her livelihood, and her love. It shows.

By the way, 2009 has been declared the International Year of Natural Fibers. I’ll have an entire slideshow for that coming!


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