M.C. Davis, former gambler and businessman, stands in his 54,000-acre preserve, Nokuse Plantation, in the Florida Panhandle. It's the largest privately owned conservation area in the southeastern United States. Matt Ozug/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Ozug/NPR

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melissa Block/NPR

Goodband compares these Knobbed Russets to shrunken heads. Others say potatoes or toads. They're all gnarled and warty and brown, but don't be intimidated: They taste great when ripe. They originated in Sussex, England, in 1819. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melissa Block/NPR