The Potato Capitol of Florida
June 23, 2022 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Hastings, Florida, a formerly incorporated community in St. Johns County, is the “Potato Capital of Florida.”

Originally founded in 1890 by Thomas Horace Hastings to provide produce to his cousin Henry Flagler’s opulent Ponce de Leon and Alcazar hotels in nearby St. Augustine, the town was a bustling community through the first half of the 20th century, sometimes referred to at the time as the “Famous Hastings Potato District.”

Today, the town is still a significant agricultural center, producing significant volumes of “chipping potatoes,” although the vicissitudes of the national chip market aren't always kind. Potato production in Florida is counter-cyclical, with most potatoes produced during the winter months, when northern states’ growing seasons are long over.

The town’s annual Spud Run is a beloved 5k and 10k race that ends with each finisher receiving a bag of potatoes and cabbages.

More history, and a photo tour.
posted by saladin (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I lived 45 of my 48 years in North Florida and did not know this about Hastings.

Of course, if I noticed it at all it was as a wide spot in the road on the way to the Blue Crab Festival in Palatka.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:17 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


S P U D S

Is on the way to st augustine
posted by sibboleth at 3:32 PM on June 23


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