Saturday, May 7, 2011
You Say Potato, I Say Potaters
Thanks to a long awaited week of warmer and drier weather, we've been busy planting and transplanting into the fields. Apprentice Tim and I got our tractor/transplanter feet wet with some potatoes. I drove the tractor, while Tim sat poised upon the transplanter.
1) Here we are getting ready to plant. I like to chat with the potatoes before they're planted - you know, just a little assurance that everything's going to be okay.
2) Up and running! The goal is to drive the tractor slow and steady down the beds, so we've got a nice, straight row with a potential potato plant every few inches. I'm looking back to make sure Tim hasn't fallen off the transplanter and been buried with the potatoes. I'm also making sure the potatoes are getting buried deep enough into the soil. If even a little skin pokes out of the soil, the ravens will want to snack on them.
3) Here's what Tim's dealing with. He sits perched on the transplanter's yellow seat, looking down at these cups as they circle around like a wheel. His job is to drop a potato in each cup as they turn. The cup's job is to dig into the soil and release the potato into the ground.
4) The beds end up being lined with a row of these pockmarks. Each pockmark has a potato hiding beneath it!
5) We ended up planting 4 different varieties of potato. It'll be interesting to see which one does best in this climate and soil.
6) Look at that straight row! Farmer Brock and Apprentice Tim take care of business.