Could there be a better office if you have to go to work on a Sunday morning? John has been learning how to plant the potato crop this year while Curtis has been busy planting sweet corn. If you look carefully at the third picture, you can see both our sons in their socially distanced tractors! Racing the weather is one thing that has not changed here at the farm. They were both up early this morning to get as much planting done as possible before the rain arrives. To see a video of the potato planter working you can visit “Tater Tales May 17th.”
Today’s headline story coming to you Fresh From Our Farm is called “And It’s A Wrap!” We are pleased to let you know that #plant19 is now complete. All the seed potatoes are safely underground where they belong despite an extraordinary cold and wet spring here at the farm. The photos above show some of our seed potatoes in storage before we started planting. Each wooden box holds approximately 3,600 seed potatoes and each white tote bag is holding about 5,000 seed potatoes. So how many seed potatoes are you looking at in each of the photos? I would tell you but that wouldn’t be any fun at all. Feel free to do the math and see what you come up with. To watch a video of our potato planter in action you can visit “Tater Tales May 17th.”
Welcome to the second post in my brand new blog series called “Fresh From Our Farm.” This long weekend the men will be busy planting potatoes since the weather looks like it will finally cooperate a little bit. This video clip shows our seed cutting line in action. This is where we cut the larger seed potatoes into smaller pieces. They are loaded into bulk trucks and driven to the field to get loaded into the planter. To understand more about our seed potato cutting line and why we cut our seed potatoes in the first place you can visit “Journey to the Underground Part I.”
And so continues our very cold and wet #plant19. Have a great long weekend everyone! And no matter what your plans are be sure to make great memories, have some fun, stay safe and look out for slow moving tractors when you’re out and about!
Welcome to the first post in my brand new blog series called “Fresh From Our Farm.” Over the next year all my blogs will have fresh content with new photos, fresh new recipes, fresh off the press updates about life on the farm, and of course information about how we grow and sell our fresh produce. So let’s get started!
Saturday was another drizzly, foggy and miserable day. All the routine maintenance and inspections were done on the tractors and the planting equipment. Every order of seed potatoes had arrived. Everyone was fired up and ready to start planting. But we waited yet another day hoping the weather would dry up and warm up.
What a huge difference 24 hours can make! By Sunday afternoon all the equipment was moved to the field and we were finally able to start. And so begins #plant19. To see some amazing pictures of our seed potatoes being unloaded you can visit “Millions of Seed Potatoes.”
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.”
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!”
What are your signs that spring has sprung? For many people, signs of spring can be the first sighting of robins, longer days, and small snowdrop and crocus pushing up in the garden. Here at the farm the first sure sign that spring has arrived is when we begin to receive our seed potato shipments. This truck is full of Yukon Gem seed potatoes that we unload and store until it’s time to start planting. How many boxes are there? How long does it take to unload the truck? Where do we store them? This shipment held approximately 40 boxes of seed potatoes that took two forklift operators about 3 hours to unload. The boxes are kept in one of our large sheds where the temperature, humidity and lighting levels are optimized for seed potato storage. You can visit “Millions of Seed Potatoes” to learn more about seed potatoes.
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!”
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.”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!