Author Topic: planting and digging potatoes  (Read 1302 times)

Offline mater

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planting and digging potatoes
« on: November 15, 2017, 01:14:41 AM »
I was thinking today about trying to grow potatoes next spring.  That's a crop I've haven't tried in several years.  Now, as a boy, we always grew potatoes.  The last two long rows in the garden were devoted to red potatoes.  My
Dad always adhered to what his Dad said; you plant on Valentine's Day and harvest on July the 4th. 

I remember my Dad would walk a half mile to our neighbor down the dirt road and borrow his work horse and walk her back to the house with lines.  She was a huge dray horse with big hooves.  He'd hook her up to the middle buster plow to dig up the potato rows.  There were a lot of shouts of "HO, HAW, and GEE and the earth would open and we would follow making piles of potatoes to later gather up in burlap sacks.  These burlap sacks had a lot of uses.  We saved them. They had contained 100 pounds of molasses smelling grain for our dairy cows which we mixed with bran which the cows ate while they were milked.  ( BTW, some of the bran came in pretty patterned cotton sacks.  Florals and such. Some women used to collect this fabric to make dresses, etc..)  Anyway, we gathered the potatoes in these sacks and carried them to a shed where we rolled them out and then covered them with lime in the hopes of preventing rot.

I doubt that I will plant on that large of a scale, but I may try a few short rows this spring.  For some of us there is a lot of nostalgia in vegetable gardening. You step up to that bare earth ready for planting and perhaps memories pop up of what your parents told you about this or that.....and you remember.  I feel blessed that I had those parents and those experiences in growing things, and just growing up on a farm in general. 

So, yeah, I think I'll try some potatoes on Valentine's Day.  And forgive me for rambling.....

Offline crazyhorse

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 01:38:43 AM »
Mr Mater , thanks for the history story .
It is sad , but lots of the younger generations will not have that experience on the farm.
I enjoyed it.
It brings back memories of years gone by to me.

I hope you plant them taters and have a bumper crop

I enjoy reading your posts.

Offline mater

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 01:53:00 AM »
Thanks Crazyhorse,

I believe you've been on here a while like me.  I've been off a while but I remember you I think.  Wish I could remember some of the other older members that used to be on here.  Cub Cadet was one I think.  I've been out of pocket, done a little traveling and am now retired and just gardening and enjoying myself.  Holler at me anytime you care to.

Offline Maggie13

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 06:16:44 AM »
For some of us there is a lot of nostalgia in vegetable gardening

I agree! Thanks for sharing a bit of your childhood.
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Online Double B

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 06:25:38 AM »
I think that many of us here actually long to garden. Because of the floods and hurricane of this year, I had been out of my garden for about two months. It was such a joy to turn the soil over earlier this week and the smell of the dirt always takes me back to when my grandparents were still here. My grandfather could plow with a mule as if it were an art. When I was young, I was always amazed at how straight he could lay off rows. He too would lay that middle buster deep and turn over potatoes so we could gather them.

These days I hook the middle buster up to my John Deere but because of the memories of the folks gone by, it's still just as much fun. Thanks for the memories, Mr. mater.
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Offline whiskydog

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 06:41:18 AM »
I love the stories too and the smell of fresh turned earth, and the smell of a mule.
gardening seems to be in the blood something that the family has always done and I always try to do.  Last spring the son in law and I planted about 15 pounds of potatoes down in the bottoms, I still have a bunch of them left. sure made a lot of potatoes.
If I'm not having problems,, I'm not doing it right..

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Offline crazyhorse

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 02:10:50 AM »
Yes , I agree with all the above.
Gardening is a win, win all the way .
We get to stir the dirt.
Bring back memories from years ago.
Watch our food grow, gather it and when we eat it, we have the very best of the best that can be grown, and the old saying , "we grew it our self"  with Gods help.
When we "put up" our garden grown food and eat some later in the cold , winter months, it taste so much better than "store bought" food.

I wish it would be possible for everyone to have a garden and put up food for the winter.
I think it would be such a important lesson in life for the younger generations that never have the opportunity to have home grown vegetables.

I thank Mr Donald for giving us this wonderful site.
He has helped many, many , many people become first time gardeners, better gardeners, (this includes me), and become gardeners that have better garden skills.
I also thank each one of you for all the help, advice, information that you give to help people (me included) and people every where to become first time gardeners, better gardeners.

I will stop for now, did not mean ramble on for so long.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 02:28:55 AM by crazyhorse »

Offline Rabbitproof

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 04:30:27 AM »
I have always had the urge to garden, even tho I only started 15 yrs ago. No one in my family really gardened veggies, except my paternal grandmother. My parents just grew about 3 tomato plants and maybe a bell pepper or two in a small spot in their backyard----and not every year. I get the growing gene from my grandmother----she ALWAYS had a  veggie garden. My other grandmother had the "growing gene" for flowers and landscaping plants--her yard was absolutely gorgeous!! I put any and all efforts into the vegetables---am just fascinated by it. Best hobby I ever took up!!

Online Monroe

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 10:35:47 AM »
Jewel & I had only been married about three weeks when our nearest neighbor stopped by, Monroe the busters is on the tractor, it's time to plant taters I've already got mine in the ground, got enough left over for you & Jewel so come git the tractor it's time to plant. Jewel & I was 18 years old, just married & planting taters was the  last thing on our minds. It was over a week later we had run into town and when we got home there was a John Deere parked at the end of the old garden spot with a bucked of tater eyes on the seat. We planted those taters, Jewel climbed up , sat in my lap ,  we took the tractor home & thanked our neighbor . Now we both knew all about planting taters and any thing else garden wise but best I remember finding time was hard to do.

                                                                   Monroe
Jewel & I have had a beautiful journey together

Offline 2010 National Champs

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 07:15:42 PM »
I have always had the urge to garden, even tho I only started 15 yrs ago. No one in my family really gardened veggies, except my paternal grandmother. My parents just grew about 3 tomato plants and maybe a bell pepper or two in a small spot in their backyard----and not every year. I get the growing gene from my grandmother----she ALWAYS had a  veggie garden. My other grandmother had the "growing gene" for flowers and landscaping plants--her yard was absolutely gorgeous!! I put any and all efforts into the vegetables---am just fascinated by it. Best hobby I ever took up!!
growing your own vegetable keeps you away from things that cause you harm, like the on going listeria outbreak that hit walmart,trader joes and several other places
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Offline 2010 National Champs

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 07:18:48 PM »
Jewel & I had only been married about three weeks when our nearest neighbor stopped by, Monroe the busters is on the tractor, it's time to plant taters I've already got mine in the ground, got enough left over for you & Jewel so come git the tractor it's time to plant. Jewel & I was 18 years old, just married & planting taters was the  last thing on our minds. It was over a week later we had run into town and when we got home there was a John Deere parked at the end of the old garden spot with a bucked of tater eyes on the seat. We planted those taters, Jewel climbed up , sat in my lap ,  we took the tractor home & thanked our neighbor . Now we both knew all about planting taters and any thing else garden wise but best I remember finding time was hard to do.

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yeah, time has a way of fixing things don't it monroe?....like me, we got plenty of time to plant them potatoes now, don't we? :-\
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woodchip gardener

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 02:04:11 PM »
i really enjoy gardening.  i had a small garden in front of our house next to our front walk when i was young.   it was between the sidewalk and the outer edge of the space my dog's chain run could reach.  while the deer got some of it, they were generally too scared of our dog to get too close.  lol.

i got away from gardening in my late teens and lived in apartments until probably the early 2000's when i had moved here to charlotte and bought a house with my own yard.  then i got the gardening bug bad.  i had lowes deliver cinderblocks and compost.  i built a raised bed in my back yard and grew what i could.  from then on, i have always had a garden.  i have learned so much from everyone here on the boards that i am growing more and so many different things than just the standard plants i found at the big box stores when i started.  this means the world to me.  thanks to all of you.  i have discovered so many wonderful things and my family is eating all the healthy foods i can grow.

you are all right about many of the folks my age and younger not gardening. i have sent seeds to many of my siblings, but they don't do anything with them.  3 of them have decent sized yards and could raise a nice amount of food if they tried.   oh well.  my aunt says that i got the gardening genes.  lol.  apparently my great grandparents on my mom's side had an amazing piece of property that had a full veg garden out back and my great grandfather made the front yard into a rose garden for my g-grandma.  back then they grew food to survive, not just hobby garden like i do, but i would like to think they would have enjoyed seeing what i can grow now.


Offline crazyhorse

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 02:48:43 AM »
Mrs Chip, I am sure your parents & grandparents would enjoy looking a what you grow today.

I like to see folks get into gardening, I think it helps them to be better all a round the home & family.
I think folks that garden has more interest in what their food tastes like when put on the table.

Offline Rabbitproof

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 06:46:08 AM »
Woodchip  I used to beg my sister to plant at least a tomato--she was always complaining about the taste of store bought food,especially tomatoes. She had the best backyard for growing and that good Ms Delta rich soil near the Ms River in Memphis. I hate to say it but finally just chalked it up to downright lazy!! Could not think of any other reason for not digging one hole!!!!

Online Monroe

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 07:00:09 AM »
Champ every time I plant or dig a tater now I can't help thinking about that first garden. One morning , about daylight, we heard that John Deere popping out toward the garden spot. The neighbor, we found out, also was using the same large garden spot. He always called me by my first and middle name so when he saw me walking out, Monroe Sutton, I layed ya'll off some rows, everybody on that road could have heard him , I'm getting ready to git a few things in, the weather has us running late, now is time to plant ya'lls beans. Champ toward the last week of May there was a sprout but it wasn't a bean. Gardening can supply many fond memories , thinking back about that boy 18 years old that is a good one.

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Jewel & I have had a beautiful journey together

Offline mater

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2017, 01:56:31 AM »
Ha ha, Monroe, you mentioned the John Deere popping.  I learned how to drive on an H Farmall International. My Dad would get out the crank to start it while I sat in the seat and pulled the ring that was the choke.  When it coughed and sputtered I'd pull back the gas a bit over the steering wheel until it caught.  I didn't know much about John Deeres at that time.  I remember a neighbor came to cut our sugar cane when I was maybe five yrs old.  He had a John Deere and I remember that put.......put......put sound of the engine and I wondered what's the matter with that tractor!  The machine he pulled cut the cane and deposited into a dump truck along side.  This was then dumped into an in ground pit for storage.  it was called silage.  The silage was then compressed or tamped down by two black men named Bus and Skin.  They did a great job and Dad paid them for the work. I can remember many cold winter days when I went with Dad backing the trailer into that hillside pit and loading a wooden wagon with silage using pitch forks.  The silage would steam with heat and smelled pickled.  I remember still later going to load the trailer by myself.  We would take the silage and fork into troughs for the dairy cows after milking. 

When I had to go off to college, Dad hired some younger fellows to help with the dairy.  One was a young black fellow named William.  William went to fetch a trailer load of silage one morning and when he arrived with the tractor there was no trailer.  Dad asked him, " William, where's the trailer?"  Dad never got over the look on his face when he looked back.  William went back and hooked the trailer up properly.  My Dad gave many young men black and white a start over the years.  He always laughed and joked with them and understood their youth as he did mine.  My Dad was quite simply the best man I ever knew.  Years later, in the hospital, two days before he left us, William came to visit him.  I received him and although Dad was unable to respond, William said Dad had taught him so much about right and wrong and had set him upon his path.  I told him he had me as well.

I look back upon those years and sometimes I wonder how I got so old so quick.  I'm only 61, but gosh that seems like a long time ago, and it was.

Offline crazyhorse

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2017, 03:03:13 AM »
Oh my , I really like to hear these stories and history of years gone by.
I hope this thread stays active with many more posts.

Online Monroe

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Re: planting and digging potatoes
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2017, 07:21:02 AM »
mater you are the age of our son, he will be 62 Feb.8 2018, Jewel & I will celebrate 63 years of a mighty happy fun filled life Feb 2. I was so sure when Jim entered HS he would get into the FFA like I did, he tried, but at his sophomore year he came to me , didn't want me to be disappointed , but he wanted to get fully involved with the school band and music. I let him know I couldn't be more proud of his decision. Jim learned my trade in home AC and again I envisioned the two of us building on that, but again he took a different path. As a father I'm sure that your Dad and I are mighty proud of seeing the success of our son's and recognize the values each of you have, which came from us.

         Monroe
Jewel & I have had a beautiful journey together