Yes. We need rain. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time it rained. This video of Curtis preparing land to plant a cover crop makes me feel like I’m living through the famous Dust Bowl of the 1930’s in the USA. Our next job is going to be irrigation if it doesn’t rain soon. And since everyone hates irrigating, please do us a favour and do a little rain dance today! You can visit “Baby It’s Dry Outside” to learn more about how irrigation works at our farm.
Whenever I hear the words pumpkin patch, the image of Linus waiting patiently for “The Great Pumpkin” to arrive comes to my mind. Welcome to our pumpkin patch! John and Curtis are planting this field using our corn planter that has been adjusted with a few modifications. The video pans out to show our entire pumpkin patch where they will plant 5 different varieties of pumpkins as well as butternut squash, pepper squash and spaghetti squash. You can visit “Pumpkins & Squash” to learn more about how John & Curtis figured out how to modify the corn planter in the first year they grew fall produce.
Earlier this week I managed to escape the office and catch our as he planted our very last field of potatoes for 2023. This is the 5th crop of potatoes John has planted since RJ’s dad “retired.” (Of course, everyone knows farmers never really retire!) Our 4 row planter is loaded with Yukon Gold seed potatoes in these photos. You can visit “Tater Tales Potato Planter” to see a video of the planter.
“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” Since we don’t grow oak trees here at the farm, I’ll modify this English proverb to read “Mighty crops from little seed potatoes grow!”
Every humble seed potato is cut in half. One plant should grow from each half. One plant should yield 8-10 potatoes depending on the variety, growing conditions and weather conditions. So each little seed potato can turn into 16-20 beautiful new potatoes. And this is all the proof I need to confirm that great things can and do come from small beginnings.
We have been busy planting our seed potatoes for about a week and a half after a sluggish start to our season due to excessive rain and cold temperatures in late April and early May. You can expect to see our new potatoes available for sale in late July or early August. You can visit “Seed Potatoes” to find out how many seed potatoes we need every season.
As everyone knows, farming is extremely dependent on the weather. Here are 10 photos that recap the wild ride we had with Mother Nature this past year.
#IamMurray and all the tractors were itching to get into the fields in the spring, but cooler than normal temperatures slowed us down. These cool temperatures prevailed during our planting season and into early summer wreaking havoc with weed control.
Below normal rainfall in the summer created extreme drought. We battled the drought with irrigation where we could, but it lead to a lighter potato crop than we had hoped for. On the other hand, the pumpkins thrived and we had a bumper crop.
Gorgeous fall weather lead to many stunning photo opportunities as we worked at the grain harvest. The featured photos in the slideshow depict our grain truck at sunrise, the combine at sunset and a magnificent rainbow.
The four of us are still standing at the end of the season after the whirlwind weather rollercoaster of 2022! While we don’t know what’s in store for us in 2023, we know that together we can ride it out. Happy New Year to all of you! You can visit “Wacky Weather” to see how we fared in 2017 with the exact opposite weather we experienced this year.
Sing along everyone. I know you all know this classic song:
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to plant
A time to reap
We use our tractors in every season and have implements for every purpose imaginable. Here are our tractors hard at work preparing our land for planting as they pull implements such as the fertilizer spreader, disc harrow, cultivator and manure spreader. The heavy duty tractors pull the large potato harvester and the smaller windrower during the harvest. And sometimes we even allow a special guest to tag along with the drivers to provide some company during the very long summer days!
To see videos of these machines at work you can visit “Tater Tales Potato Planter” and “The Potato Harvester.”
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.”
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!
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!