What’s for dinner tonight? We are open all weekend and are proud to offer some of Ontario’s freshest and finest produce at the farm door. Hope to see you soon! Our address, hours of operation and directions to the farm can be found at “Contact Us.”
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!
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.”
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.
This video clip is of the tail end of our grading line. Today we are packing new white potatoes that have already been washed and graded. They are now sorted into two different packing lines. The line closest to the front holds our medium white potatoes that are mainly packed in 10lb bags for grocery stores and for sale at the farm door. The line at the far back shows our large white potatoes packed in 50lb bags for restaurant delivery and wholesale at the Ontario Food Terminal. To learn more about grading potatoes you can visit “What’s A #1 Potato Anyway?”
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!”
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.
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.”
The cavalry has arrived! Let the fall harvest begin! Over the next 5 to 6 weeks everyone at the farm will be working together to bring in the potato crop. I wanted to post this funny little video before everyone gets too tired to appreciate the humour in it. I debated for quite some time whether to call it “The Cavalry Arrives” or “The Almost Crash.” I leave it up to you to decide since I still cannot make up my mind. Stay tuned for harvest updates broadcast directly from my back porch! To see a video of the potato harvester operating at actual speed you can visit “The Potato Harvester.”
I can’t resist adding one more post about our visit to Farmer Tim’s dairy farm last weekend. This video of the cows was taken just after the evening milking was finished. They’re munching on dinner before heading out to pasture for the night. It was fascinating to observe how all the cows knew their daily routine and could anticipate what was going to happen next.
I also wanted to add a thank you footnote to RJ. While I was shadowing Farmer Time and having the time of my life in the barn, RJ was busy in the kitchen. He washed and diced the new potatoes, husked the sweet corn, set up the outdoor pot boilers and then cooked the food that we took for dinner. In his own words, it was the first time that he cooked dinner while I farmed!
To read more about our visit to Farmer Tim’s you can visit “Tater Tales Aug 1st: Visiting Farmer Tim.”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!