I am so tired of saying “I don’t know.” So I am dedicating the month of February to posts about things that “I know!” The last ten months have proven to be the most challenging times we have all lived through. But I know that together RJ and myself are strong. We pulled through every challenge and every change because we can lean on each other, run ideas past each other and figure out what to do together. Nothing was easy on the farm last year, but together we successfully finished the season. (Just to be clear, I was not recruited to help with field work. I am still the paper pusher!) So I know that while life certainly has many surprises and upheavals, we will always have each other to lean on. To learn a little bit more about who we are, you can visit “Our Story.”
Yesterday we received word from Mexico that one of our employees passed away unexpectedly. We were lucky enough to have Alfonso Martinez-Hernandez work with us for almost 20 years. Alfonso was a devoted father and grandfather, a dependable and reliable employee and a good friend to all of us here at the farm. His infectious smile and great sense of humour will be sorely missed. Although he was taken too soon from this world, we will always keep him close to us in our hearts. May you rest in peace dear Alfonso.
“In challenging times, it’s the things we take for granted that matter the most.” This commercial poignantly defines what is needed to keep the food supply chain running from the farmers to your kitchen table. And why am I putting an ad for a trucking company on our social media? Wait for it. If you would like to learn more about our farm you can visit “BJ’s Radio Interview” to hear her speak on 105.9 The Region.
At the end of another long and exhausting week harvesting the potato crop we received an inspiring boost to our spirits. As I was sorting out the mail, I found a small envelope from Montana that contained a wonderful thank you letter. We have never met young Kaleb who wrote us the letter, but we certainly appreciate his kind words thanking us for helping to feed the world.
I have transcribed his words below in case the thank you card is a bit hard to read from the photo:
“Dear Thompson Potato Farm,
My name is Kaleb. I’m 13 years old and live in Red lodge Montana. Currently I am in a Ag Class and I would like to thank you for everything you do. It means a lot to me that you are helping to feed the world. I really like mash potatoes and I can’t live in a world without potatoes, so thank you.
Our pleasure Kaleb! We also cannot imagine a world without potatoes. We hope you enjoy your agriculture education at Red Lodge. My recipe for perfect mashed potatoes can be found at “Cooking Potatoes 101.”
Suddenly Mother Nature decided to relent and give all of us a much needed day of warmth and beautiful sunshine. The farm burst into spring yesterday. I think we can all use a few “feel good” moments these days. Enjoy these spring photos quickly since apparently we are moving into summer weather by this afternoon! (Note – Our crop of dandelions is not included in the photo album since Curtis ran them all over with the lawnmower.) For more photos showing signs of spring you can visit “Buds & Blossoms.”
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.”
We are still open to the general public. In order to keep our food supply safe, we have made a few modifications. We have moved our self-serve produce section outside. There are plenty of potatoes, carrots and onions available. Please do not enter the building as we must keep our employees healthy. We request that you do not come to the farm at all if you have been travelling recently or are sick. For our address and directions to the farm you can visit “Contact Us.”
Today as we move our clocks forward an hour, I think most of us can safely say we have had enough of winter and are ready to move towards spring. But before we dismiss winter completely, I have compiled a small slideshow of photos of winter 2020 here at the farm. All the predictions called for a long, cold, snowy and hard winter. Yet we went through one of the rainiest Januaries since data collection started, snow fall was sporadic and the temperatures fluctuated wildly. I hope you enjoy these photos whether you spent last winter out and about in the snow or opted to snuggle with blankets by a blazing fire. To have a closer look at some tiny wintery treasures you can visit “Weedy Wednesday.”
Winter has returned with a real vengeance here in Southern Ontario. The intense snowfall and howling winds cannot touch our potatoes that are safely housed in our potato storages. The photo above shows one of our potato storages that are usually filled to capacity after the fall harvest. Over the winter we carefully maintain and monitor temperature and humidity levels to preserve the potatoes until we are ready to pack them for our customers. To have a closer look at the inside of one of our storages you can visit “A Rare Occurrence.”
Sometimes it can be hard to drag ourselves out of bed in the morning and face a long, cold, dark winter day here at the farm. However, it can be a little easier with a beautiful view like this one taken at 5:00 am from our back porch earlier this week. And yes, this is what often greets us when we have an early start to our day! To see some other pictures of the beautiful sky seen around our farm you can visit “The Sky.”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!