• Vergennes grapes are now in the local market. This is a new variety for the two cities but they promise to prove popular. The grapes are sweet and resemble Delawares, only being larger.

• Some California naval oranges have arrived in Lewiston and Auburn. The price is $3.50 per box.

50 Years Ago, 1954

Maine’s 1954 potato crop was just under 50 million bushels. The U.S. Agriculture Dept., in its final crop report of the year, gave the harvest as 49,720,000 bushels, compared to 57,720,000 in 1953. Maine harvested 153,000 acres this year – 3,000 fewer than a year ago – and the yield per acre was 325 bushels, compared to 370. This year’s crop is well under the 1942-1951 10-year average of almost 62 million bushels. To date, most of the Maine crop is still in storage. Less than 3,000 carloads have gone to market, whereas more than 7,000 had rolled out of Aroostook County at this time last year. But the price is higher, Growers are getting $2.25 to $2.50 a barrel in bulk. A year ago 80 cents was the best they could do. Growers generally figure it costs them around $2.50 to produce a barrel of spuds.

25 Years Ago, 1979

It’s practically Christmas and Lewiston storekeepers say just that – it’s a “practical” Christmas. The cute, cuddly, and kinky Christmas gifts, they report, are being outsold by items more useful – like kneesocks. And shoppers are shopping around for those kneesocks more than ever. However, one of the hottest Christmas items seems to be the micro wave oven. The manager of Day’s Jewelry Store on Lisbon Street in Lewiston says he’s sold more “micros” this season than any other year since the ovens invaded the market. “They’re a big energy saver,” George Palmer explains from his store as he stalks toward a regular stove in comparison. “Do you know how much your electric range uses?” Conservation, the manager says, is what his customers are looking for this year.

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