Southern Ontario was hit with substantial snow over the weekend. How do we cope with clearing all the driveways, laneways, pathways and walkways here at the farm? We bring in the big equipment naturally! The photos above show John using the loader tractor and RJ using the backhoe to clear snow. All done under the watchful eye of Murray of course! To see some photos of unusual winter phenomenon I took here at the farm you can visit “Weird Winter Weather.”
Happy New Year everyone! All of us here at the farm wish you peace, health and happiness in 2020! RJ and myself started this new year with a rare free afternoon, so we decided to truck to our back 40 and explore the forest. First we collected kindling (me) and played with the chainsaw (RJ.) Secondly we checked in with our rivers to see how flooded they were and drove the trails checking for downed trees.
Lastly we checked in on our tree. This ancient, majestic tree is quite a landmark on our farm. It’s anyone’s guess as to how old she really is but since my arms don’t even go halfway around her, we know she is rather elderly. And since tree hugging is good for the soul, we both gave her a big hug and told her we would be back soon to check on her. To see some other interesting pictures of nature I took here at the farm you can visit “Buds & Blossoms” and “The Sky.”
Today I would like to address a little known topic about farming. We are often asked how we get the potatoes out of the ground in the winter. For centuries winter harvesting has been a tried and true method for keeping a fresh market supply of produce here in Canada. Working with snow and ice is never easy, and don’t even get me started on the wind chill in open fields! These pictures show our windrower and harvester set up to take on the winter weather conditions. Our tractors have full heating systems so the men who work in the fields are comfortable until they have to get out of the tractor to fix something.
Once you have thought a little bit about this information, I’m sure you’ll agree with me how ludicrous this all sounds. Potatoes are about 80% water so they would freeze solid if they were left in the ground over the winter. Implements would seize up in the cold and there is no way we could break the ground to dig up potatoes. All our potatoes are safely put into temperature and humidity controlled storages well before the ground freezes for the winter.
Thank you for reading along with me and Happy April Fool’s Day to you! To learn more about our actual harvesting process you can go to “Journey From The Underground Part II”
Here’s a little something fun for everyone to do this weekend. This is my on-line version of our wildly popular trivia game presented at the 2018 Farm To Fork Tour. Now’s your chance to challenge yourself by playing “Are You Smarter Than A Potato Farmer?” There are five true and false slides that will test your knowledge of some common animals found around our farm. (We felt it would be rather unfair to have a trivia challenge based on potatoes!) The first slide will have a true or false question which will be followed a second slide holding the answer. You can use the “pause” button found in the top left corner of the slide to think about your response before you move to the answer revealed. Good luck!
If you have been playing along this week on our Facebook page, you just need to watch the slideshow to see how you fared with your answers. Feel free to post the correct number of answers you got on our page. If you managed to get all five correct you have earned supreme bragging rights as you have proven to be smarter than a potato farmer. (Or at least as smart as we are!)
For some more fun photos of some of the wildlife spotted here at the farm you can visit “Cute & Fuzzy Animals” and “Predators.”
Today is Weedy Wednesday here at the farm. Even though weeds are something we normally work to eradicate, and even though most of us are quite tired of winter, at a certain point we need to take a few minutes to appreciate what we’re given. So I present my slideshow of glittering weeds covered in ice and snow sparkling in the brilliant sunlight. The photos were taken in the bitter cold early one frosty morning. Although I ended up with frozen fingers and burrs on my boot, I believe the end result was worth it. If you’re hungry for signs of spring, I invite you to take a look at “Buds & Blossoms” for a preview of spring flora and fauna.
The calm after the storm(s). This has been a wild and wintery week here with ferocious winds on Monday leading to heavy snow all day yesterday. The farm is covered in a blanket of snow that reminds me of a fresh canvas. If only I had the time to run out and write messages in the snow! However, using Photoshop to convey my message will have to suffice. 20 days to spring everyone!
#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.
This enormous flock of tiny birds has been hanging around our house for about three weeks. The flock is comprised of goldfinch, purple finch, house finch, and a variety of sparrows. My best guess is there are about four or five hundred birds in the flock. They are difficult to identify as they are seldom still for more than a few seconds at a time. I assume their constant movement is a defense mechanism against the bitter cold and biting wind. We are happy to provide them with the opportunity to forage for sweet corn leftovers! To see another interesting video of birds that hang around the farm you can visit “Geese en Masse.”
I can think of no better way to welcome the last day of 2018 than with this glorious sunrise. We wish all our loyal customers and social media followers a fantastic evening tonight and a safe ride home. May 2019 bring you love, peace, health and prosperity in all your endeavours. See you next year! To view more photos of the sky around the farm you can visit “The Sky.”
We are hiring! We are looking for a part-time entry level office assistant to work in our busy home office in a fast paced, deadline oriented work environment. Specific job information, duties, and qualifications are itemized in the PDF document above. Resumes can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!