Potatoes delivered

Unloading potatoes

Seed potatoes arrived today, all the way from tiny PEI (Canada’s potato province!). It’s still difficult to find certified organic potato stock, especially in more-than-home-garden-less-than-big-farm quantities, so it’s back to Veseys for another 300 super-expensive pounds, from 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away. Not too local, but that’s part of the certified organic game, finding seed… This year, the delivery charge upped the price by 60%—it’s expensive to truck stuff.

Unloading. The lane to the barn is narrow, has an obstructive tree right beside a slight but critical bend, slopes upwards, and falls off on one side—big trucks don’t even try to get in. We have to unload at the side of the not-too-busy 2-lane secondary road. Once again, the Kubota compact tractor makes up the difference, this time standing in as a forklift replacement.

Transport trucks it seems often don’t have elevating tailgates that can handle weight, they’re set up for forklift loading, so if you don’t have a handy farm forklift, you have to unstrap the pallet and hand-bomb everything off by the piece. The truck drivers are usually really helpful. This was just six 50lb sacks, two each of Penta (like Yukon Gold), Chieftain (red), and Gold Rush (russet-type), so we’re done in no time!

Potatoes delivered

Machines can communicate: See ya!

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11 Responses to “Potatoes delivered”

  1. Art Blomquist says:

    Wow! Were looking for about ten pounds of seed spuds for our re-tired garden.  And thats an increase over last year.  Mind you I’m only feeding two and a few friends.

  2. I couldn’t find organic seed potatoes around here at all.  So since I’m not a commercial grower I just used my left over organic and now sprouted fingerling potatoes that I cook up for my kids from the local market….they are growing great.

    Next year I will buy some extrajust for sprouting and planting if I cannot find a source for organic seed potatoes.

    Have fun planting that many…you’ve got your work cut out for you! Kim

  3. jerusha says:

    I was thinking of trying Penta from Veseys this year… I love the Yukon Gold, but couldn’t find any organic seed potatoes for them fast enough. How do you like the Penta ones?

  4. Dan says:

    Maybe a side ‘organic seed potato’ business is in your future?

  5. Sasha says:

    Congrats on the new location! Looks good. I like the hoophouse. I would love to stop by to see the new digs and help out this spring. Could you email me the new location/contact info?

    ps. I’ve moved too. Jobs that is, found better work in Port Hope (finally!)… I’m transitioning from lake-work to the oak ridges moraine… It’s all about water!

  6. Mike (tfb) says:

    Kim: Yeah, finding potatoes… I dream of growing fingerlings. Like La Ratte (have you heard of them?), I’ve never seen nor tasted ‘em, but they sound so…gourmet. And so many others… But this year, it’s Penta (for Yukon Gold), Goldrush and Chieftain once again…

    Art: I guess it’s…all relative… :)

    jerusha: This is my second season with Penta, only because it replaced Yukon Gold in Veseys organic selection of three varieties. They did fine last year, but with all that rain, it was completely weird weather, so I don’t have much of an opinion yet. So we’ll see how they do this year!

    Dan: Maybe… Somehow, though, that seems like a BIG project. I think you have to grow a LOT of spuds for seed potatoes, to maintain health, genetics. And I also think there’s lots of inspection required, registration, REGULATION…particularly to make sure you’re not spreading around disease. What does sound like fun, although it takes forever (years), is breeding your own on a small scale.

    Sasha: That sounds good!

  7. erin says:

    Hey Mike!
    I wish I had known you were in need as I am pretty sure my Dad is the only certified organic seed potato provider in Ontario…Small world!  Maybe next year.
    We are looking forward to coming out this season Mike!  When are you in need of people throughout a given week?

  8. chris barrett says:

    Your spuds travelled 1600km? That is whats wrong with certified organic. Look at how far your materials have to be sourced manure, seeds, equipment it all adds up. Local is better than organic period. You will never promote a sound local agriculture community shopping more than 20-30km for your farm. Sorry to be negative I love your site and your farm looks great, but think local its the new improved organic

  9. Mike (tfb) says:

    erin: Wow, that’s cool. I wonder what varieties he has. I’ll get in touch! There’s even still time for this year…

    chris: Oh, I completely agree with you, and there’s nothing negative in your comment. We’ve applied for certification this year, so this was given some thought (I mentioned it only lightly here on the blog). I don’t really get into, well, political issues here, although skepticism about aspects of certification has been featured! I will say that, in a world that gets ever more regulated and restrictive (until it implodes, which may be next week…),  you can see certification mainly as a kind of insurance that says, on a formal, legal level, that we’re recognized as a bona fide, serious food producer, while being “only” a tiny farm… That may come in handy, or not.

  10. Sue says:

    Looks like growing your own seed stock might be in the cards……….
    Love your site……..

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