From CTV’s Kevin Armstrong (CTV.ca)
Drivers in Edmonton were stuck in a traffic hot potato over a local farmer’s offer of free spuds Saturday.
The farmer gave away every potato in his field– 45,000 kilograms of the Russet variety.
The stunt was in an effort to promote local crops and inform the public about the dangers of urban sprawl creeping into agricultural land around the city.
And it paid off when an estimated 7,000 people showed up. The lineup of their cars stretched about eight kilometers down a major highway.
“We were on the road for an hour and 20 minutes,” said Gordon Barrett, who was digging through the dirt, filling a 23-kilogram bag to take home.
By the end of it all, farmer Gordon Visser gave away everything. About $20,000 worth of free taters were gone in only a matter of hours.
“It’s got a life of its own,” said Visser, who was visibly surprised about the frenzy. “It’s breathing. It’s unbelievable.”
Visser suggested that having people see “how wonderful this growing area is” during the event, dubbed “The Great Potato Giveaway,” would help get his serious conservation message across.
“We are trying to get to the city before just paving it over and going for suburban development,” says Monique Nutter, of advocacy group Greater Edmonton Alliance. The group promoted the giveaway and is working with Visser to preserve local farmland from development. Nutter says city hall needs to “look at the value of the land.”
The message seems to have been well received by the potato collecting masses. We also have some spuds but I don’t think they will stop traffic…..
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