Potato #plant17 is complete! John planted the last of the Russet seed potatoes yesterday, the planting equipment is all moved back to the farm and we can retire the potato planter for another season. Tiny potato plants have started to poke through the earth which is always exciting. As for Sweet Corn #plant17, RJ won’t be finished for about a month. While he has already planted several sections of sweet corn and little stalks are pushing up, the job stretches out over two months. You can see a video of RJ planting sweet corn by visiting “Sweet Corn- Coming Soon!”
Usually I am left to fend for myself on the May long weekend as the final push is on to get the last fields planted. Due to a strange combination of running out of seed potatoes and yet more rain, this long weekend was not as hectic as it usually is. I had a bit of free time to study the swans in our irrigation pond a little more closely. When I arrived at the pond, they swam over to greet me. They either have no fear of humans, or they are very curious birds. It turns out swans stick close together, and they seem to be synchronized in their actions. Now to keep my eyes peeled for babies! You can view a video of the swans at “Tater Tales May 5th: The Conversation. “
The tractors have now moved off the home farm and on to other fields. This means is it slightly quieter around the house…but I use those words lightly. Peace and quiet on a farm is a February event! The planting of the potato crop seems to be on schedule despite the cool, wet weather this spring and untimely equipment repair needed on the seed potato cutter. All the Yukon Gold potatoes have been planted and we have moved onto the Russet potatoes. And in the meantime, RJ has planted the first two sections of sweet corn! For more information about the potato planter you can visit “Journey To The Underground Part II.”
Everything is slowly drying out this week. Some fields are drier than others as we found out yesterday when one of the tractors got mired. Three hours later and Johnny was finally free to continue his field work. He is using our new disc harrow, and even to my untrained eye it looks different than the old one. Of course, it was a lot cleaner and shinier before he starting using it in the muddy fields! In these photos, Johnny is using the implement to break up large clumps of soil and weeds. It’s the first pass over the field to prepare the land for the seed potatoes. To see a video of the disc harrow you can visit “Preparing For Winter.”
As forecasted, it rained last weekend. And rained, and rained, and then it rained some more. The men used the rainy weekend to fix up, clean up and grease up the equipment in anticipation of a very busy month ahead. This meant I was busy cleaning up dirt, grease and bits of who knows what else out of my mudroom and their clothes! Never have I been so happy to see a Monday when it arrived with almost clear skies. The weather seems to be turning, so with warmer temperatures and a bit of wind to dry out the land we should be back to planting before long. You can take a closer look at some of the equipment we were prepping by visiting the “Farming Equipment” category in The Common-Tater.
What a rainy week. The fields are overflowing with water, the tractor drivers are all cranky due to minimal planting getting accomplished and it still continues to rain. I managed to escape the house for a quick tour of the back 40 one evening. It looked like Noah’s Ark had unloaded directly into our irrigation pond! Murray wasn’t too impressed with all these creatures in his kingdom. Although I didn’t understand all of their conversation, it’s safe to assume the dog and the birds were discussing territorial rights of the pond. So far the Trumpeter Swans seem to have won as I can still spot them in the pond periodically. To view photos of other animal guests at the farm, you can visit our “Gallery.”
Last week things started to get busy at the farm. Tuesday was cold and wet. The miserable day didn’t slow down the arrival of the seed potatoes. We received three tractor trailer loads that day. I forget every year how impressive the trucks look when they are tilted up so high. Every last seed potato counts! Once the weather turned around, we got two fields at the home farm planted with AC Chaleur potatoes. And it begins…. To read more about what seed potatoes are and why we use them, you can visit “Millions of Seed Potatoes.”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!