To quote a famous author “A River Runs Through It.” And let me tell you, there is NOT supposed to be a river running through our sweet corn fields. Our fields here are generally very sandy and drain quite well. But this summer there has been too much rain for our fields to handle. As you can see from these pictures, water is rushing from the forests and pooling in the fields. Hopefully the rain will cease, the fields will dry up and the little sweet corn plants won’t drown. To see a video of RJ planting sweet corn in the extremely dry conditions of the summer of 2016 you can visit “Sweet Corn – Coming Soon!”
Today we mourn the loss of one of our employees. Tony DeFusco worked for us as a driver for over ten years. Sadly he lost his battle with cancer last week. He was a responsible, reliable and dedicated employee who embraced his life to the fullest. He had a great sense of fun and a keen sense of humour. He will be sorely missed by all of us here at the farm as well as by our customers. We hope you are at peace Tony.
This Father’s Day morning seems to be the calm between the storms. Yesterday’s ferocious storm blew in and out quickly but left behind a trail of damage that cannot be overcome. Over 30% of our winter wheat has been knocked down. The little potato plants that were bent over will straighten up and be fine, but the winter wheat will not recover. While we will still be able to harvest it, the combining job will be difficult and time consuming. Today we hope the severe weather predicted will pass over us. I think we have had enough excitement here for one weekend...You can see a video of our winter wheat dancing in the wind last summer by visiting “Dancing Wheat.”
June is a relatively peaceful month for our farm. The rush to plant the crop is thankfully behind us, and early crop maintenance has been completed. Last year was a dry as a bone and the irrigation equipment was cleaned up and put to use early. This year we have already had more rain than the entire season of 2016. While there are some bare spots in areas where the seed potatoes were drowned out early in the spring, the potato plants are thriving in most fields (as you can see from the nicely filled in rows in the photos above.) The close up pictures are our Yukon Gem potato plants, which are very popular with our customers. To learn more about our different varieties of potatoes you can visit “What We Offer – Potatoes.”
Over the last few weeks, there have been tractors hustling no matter what window I look out of here at home. From fertilizing to banking the potatoes, there is quite a bit of field work to do once the crop has been planted. This photo clearly depicts the weed suppression that is achieved through banking the potatoes. As John works his way across this field, you can see the fresh earth hilled on the potatoes and the way the weeds are ripped out between the rows. It’s quite a difference from the section of the field that hasn’t been banked yet. To find out the other reasons we bank potatoes, you can visit “Banking: The Potato Farm Way.”
I had the great pleasure of spending some time this week with my good friend Chef Derek Roberts. We had a two day cooking blitz creating new potato recipes for our website. We worked on nine different recipes during the short time we had together, including four different potato salad recipes! Chef Derek was a wonder to watch in the kitchen as he cooked our potatoes with his special touch. I am looking forward to sharing these recipes with you over the next few months. Special thanks to Chris Aiken for joining us and helping clean up the enormous mess we created in the kitchen! If you are ever in the Fergus area, I encourage you to stop in at Fraberts Fresh Food, which is the store he owns and operates with his partner and wife, Jackie Fraser. In the meantime, you can see our featured recipes at “Spud-Smarts – About Cooking Potatoes.”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!