When we plant potatoes it isn’t as simple as poking the seed potatoes in the ground and let them grow. Each field is prepared to create optimum growing conditions for the potatoes. The disc harrow is the first piece of equipment to work the land in the spring. It shatters compacted soil and rips out early weeds trying to take root. Next we apply fertilizer. The cultivator follows to work the fertilizer into the soil as well break up any smaller soil clumps left by the disc harrow. After all this work is done we can finally plant the seed potatoes. Sometimes the hardest part of this is making sure we have enough tractors to keep the preparation on schedule at every field! You can see a video of the potato planter by visiting “Tater Tales 05 May 17 Potato Planter.”
Spring means the active farming season is upon us. Our tractors travel to many different fields and this means we use roads. Yesterday both of our sons were almost involved in accidents due to impatient drivers passing them in blind spots on the road. Thankfully they both had their wits about them. They managed to avert the accidents by slamming on the brakes which is not easy to do in a tractor. And their biggest concerns were for the innocent drivers who were almost hit head-on through no fault of their own.
Yes, our tractors are big and bulky and yes, they will slow you down. But only for a short time as we are not going very far. And as hard as it may be to believe, we are in just as much of a hurry as everyone else.
Unfortunately the incidents and scares caused by aggressive drivers have become a daily occurrence as we travel to our fields. Farmers sacrifice much to feed the world. A little respect, understanding and patience would go a long way. At the end of the day we all want our loved ones to arrive home safely.
According to Wikipedia, a “worm’s eye view” is the view of an object from below, as though the observer were a worm. Therefore I present to you my worm’s eye view of an enormous trailer full of Russet seed potatoes! As fast as we can plant the potatoes we are receiving more shipments. The seed potatoes typically come loose in the trailer. Juan and Estanislao are packing the shipment into bulk boxes in the photos above. The boxes are stacked in our storage until we are ready to cut the seed for planting. To learn more about seed potatoes and why we use them instead of cutting up our own potatoes to plant, you can visit “Millions of Seed Potatoes.”
Last week we were finally able to get into the fields and commence #plant18. Although the week was cut short with the enormous wind storm that affected all of Southern Ontario, I am happy to report that all the early potatoes were successfully planted. This undeniably awesome selfie was taken by field reporter Curtis. This bird’s eye view shows the seed potatoes travelling from the bulk truck via conveyor belt into the hopper on the potato planter. To learn more about new potatoes and why they are so special you can visit “One Potato, New Potato!”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!