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Helmut Schmidt, Published November 14 2012

Menahga man selling duck-shaped potato on eBay

MENAHGA, Minn. – If you’ve never seen a potato that looks like a duck, then this spud’s for you.

Danny Haataja recently harvested a tuber from his garden that could double as a decoy.

Starting today at 10 p.m., he plans to give people a chance to own the Yellow Finn with the avian appearance by offering it in a 10-day auction on eBay.

“It’s pretty good-sized, about 6 inches long and maybe 4 inches high. It’s a really big potato,” Haataja said Wednesday. “I thought it looked like a duck even before I rubbed the dirt off. I thought that was weird.”

Haataja’s nephew, Terry Bortle, is the potato’s publicist.

Bortle took the tuber to the Sebeka Menahga Review Messenger and the Park Rapids Enterprise. He even got it airtime on WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities.

The tuber, considered a gourmet variety in Europe, was planted May 15 and harvested in mid-October, Haataja said.

“I was just going to eat it,” he said, but was convinced to give it a reprieve from the ricer by Bortle.

“If they can pay $1,300 for the Illinois cornflake, who knows what’s going to happen,” Bortle said.

(Two Virginia sisters cashed in on the unmet demand for state-shaped cereal bits by selling their flake for $1,350 in May.)

Haataja said his garden produced nearly 100 pounds of spuds this year.

“There was one that looked like an alien, but the rest were just round,” he said.

Unfortunately for the spud from outer space, it landed on Haataja’s plate.

“I ate it. It didn’t look enough like something,” he said.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583