They have emerged! Last Thursday I took the first picture in this post of a tiny potato plant just beginning to poke out from the soil. It’s only ½“ high. On Sunday I took the second picture in this post and I think you can easily see what a big difference there is. All we needed was a little bit of warmth and sunshine to encourage a growth spurt. To learn a little more about how we grow potatoes you can visit “Spud Smarts – About Growing Potatoes.” We have moved onto planting other crops now that all the potatoes have been planted. This past weekend RJ managed to get another swath of sweet corn planted. Johnny and Curtis were very busy planting their pumpkins, squash and decorative corn. Busy times here indeed!
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.”
#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 year John & Curtis are expanding the crops we grow here at the farm with a side venture growing some festive fall vegetables. The boys have planted a plot with white and orange pumpkins, butternut squash, pepper squash as well as decorative corn. Their first challenge was figuring out how to plant the seeds using equipment we already owned. So they modified the corn planter by cutting some of the fingers out of the finger assembly. (The finger assemblies are the silver circles John is holding in the slideshow above.) This enabled the new vegetables to be spaced out properly in the field rows. We are all eager to see how the new vegetables fare over the summer. You can look forward to seeing all their items for sale at the farm door in the fall. For a sneak peek of the bounty you can expect to see at the farm later this season you can visit “Tater Tales Aug 25th: #eatlocal”
The potatoes have all been planted and we continue to work away at planting sweet corn. Who better to keep a watchful eye on the planting process than man’s best friend? You may think RJ is the one planting the sweet corn but Murray knows better! Without him in the cab helping who knows what would happen? You can learn more about how we grow our sweet corn crop and when you can expect to be eating the bounty by visiting “Sweet Corn – Coming Soon!”
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!”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!