#AgProud #CndAgDay Today is Canada’s Agriculture Day. A day to share with you what we do all year here at the farm. A day to celebrate the business of Canadian agriculture. A day to post a pic of our favourite Canadian food. Simple right? That’s what I thought… until I started sorting through the thousands of photos I have taken and shared with you over the past few years. It turned into a rather daunting task! So instead of just one photo, I have generated a slideshow that highlights a few special moments at our farm. From a surprise helper in the office to maintaining the potato crop to creating new recipes, I can safely say that celebrating the business of Canadian agriculture is something we do every single day. Not only does this post highlight our love for agriculture, it shares a little bit of who we are. Have a wonderful day! If you are looking for inspiring potato dishes, I recommend you visit “Spud Smarts – About Cooking Potatoes” to get started cooking our favourite Canadian food.
The weather this fall has been less than cooperative for the potato harvest. Every day has had its challenges and last week was no exception. A gorgeous fall day turned winter-like overnight, leaving us to wonder if we will ever finish this harvest. But we keep moving forward and get a little more accomplished every day. The end is in sight and then we will all be able to relax and decompress a tiny bit. There are many videos of our harvest equipment on this website that you can view in the “Video” Category of The Common-Tater. To get you started, here is a link to “The Potato Harvester.”
The weather is turning and fall is in the air. The sweet corn is gone until next year but we have filled the space with our new line of fall produce grown by John and Curtis. Their new crops have turned out some really beautiful produce. Stop in to have a look at their orange and white pumpkins, their butternut and pepper squash as well as their decorative corn. We still have local field tomatoes, carrots, onions and of course potatoes for sale as well. I invite you to visit our farm on September 29th with the Farm To Fork Tour. We will have educational information about our farm and growing potatoes, free recipes, activities for the kids, and of course our farm fresh produce for sale. To learn more about the tour and to buy tickets you can visit http://experienceeg.ca/farm-to-fork/ For our location, hours of operation and directions to the farm you can visit http://www.thompsonpotatofarm.com/at-the-door.html
This video depicts a very rare occurrence at our farm – an empty potato storage! In order to give you a sense of how big our storages are I have parked the Kubota at the very back of the building. By the end of the harvest this bin will be completely filled with potatoes. This is one of three bins…and we fill two buildings with our crop. I invite you to learn more about our farm by participating in the Farm To Fork Tour on September 29th. We will have educational information about our farm and growing potatoes, free recipes, activities for the kids, and of course our farm fresh produce for sale. To learn more about the tour and to buy tickets you can visit http://experienceeg.ca/farm-to-fork/ To see many pictures of our potato equipment you can visit our Photo Gallery.
Today is Canada’s Agriculture Day. A day we can come together to celebrate Canadian agriculture and the food we all love. Through every month of the year we take great pride in providing a quality product to feed Canadians. Each potato dish pictured on the slideshow was developed in our kitchen. You can find all the recipes at “Spud Smarts – About Cooking Potatoes” and in previous installments of “The Common-Tater” in the recipes categories. Bon Appétit!
There are always a few farming jobs to wrap up in the late fall. One of them is the harvest of the grain corn that we grow as a rotation crop. RJ and my brother-in-law can (and often do) talk at great length about whether the corn is ready to be harvested. I have to admit that most of the time I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Most of their conversations seem to revolve around the moisture content of the corn. All I can tell you is that they wait until the corn is as dry as possible before they truck it to the elevator. Since I have never travelled to the grain elevator, I believe I have more questions than answers for you today. Perhaps I will delve deeper into the grain corn mysteries over the winter! In the meantime, you can visit “Farewell Winter Wheat” to see photos of the very impressive combine at work.
This video is a very common sight when we are working the land in the fall. I have no idea where these seagulls come from but it’s a little bit eerie. There is virtually no sign of seagulls here all summer, but as soon as the tractors fire up in the fall they swoop in by the hundreds. Where do they come from? Where do they live all summer? And how do they know it’s time to feast? One of life’s little mysteries to ponder by the fire over the winter….You can visit the “Animals” category in The Common-Tater for more pictures and videos of some of the animals that live with us here at the farm.
You may have been wondering where I have been for the last few weeks. I took a short break from the Common-Tater to get started on many different home projects that all had to wait until the harvest was finished. The guys have been very busy catching up as well. There is equipment to clean and winterize, buildings to maintain, potatoes to pack and deliver, and of course there is more field work to do before the snow flies. These pictures are of an implement called a soil saver cultivator. Despite my previously unspoken thoughts, I have been informed that this is not just a piece of equipment invented for farmers who want to keep driving tractors once the harvest is finished!! The cultivator plays an essential role in improving our soil. It loosens the ground that has been compacted by heavy equipment, improves water drainage, works up the organic manure and is invaluable in preventing wind erosion over the winter. If you would like to have a more in-depth look at our fall field work you can visit “Fall Field Chores.”
So what’s REALLY like to work on a farm during the harvest? Here’s a 10 second video of our crew unloading a bulk truck full of potatoes. They are hard at working making sure that any rocks and weeds picked up by the harvester are not put into our storage. If you watch this video 100 times you will see how long it takes to unload one truck. Multiply that by 10 trucks per day and then multiply that by 7 days a week for 6 weeks and you will have a good idea of what we have been up to! (Give or take a few rain days and this year even extreme heat days.) To learn more about the function of the bin filler is you can visit “Journey From The Underground Part III” or watch a video at “The Potato Bin Filler.”
They say it takes an entire village to raise a child. In our case, it takes an entire dedicated team to raise potatoes. Here is a closer look at some of the people who have been working hard at #harvest17 (although we are missing a few key players who were busy at other jobs off the farm when I took the pictures yesterday.) After his morning job of delivering potatoes to our customers, Curtis keeps the bulk trucks rotating so there is always one truck getting unloaded and one truck getting loaded in the field. John and RJ have logged hundreds of hours operating the windrower and the harvester (with a little help yesterday from our office assistant Shelby!) Alfonso works beside the harvester all fall driving the bulk truck. The crew back at the storage run the bin filler which keeps the potatoes moving out of the trucks into the storage. Every once in a while I escape the office and the accounting to travel around on a photo shoot. And as for Murray, he keeps a watchful eye over the whole process! With a little luck and some decent weather we hope to finish the harvest by the end of next week. If you would like to learn more about the potato harvest process you can visit “Journey From The Underground Part I” “Journey From The Underground Part II” and “Journey From The Underground Part III.”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!