Potato Planting Day, Year 3

Over the past three years that we've been here we've created an annual spring tradition of planting potatoes. This year, the optimal day for planting fell on Mother's Day, so we expanded our usual little group of four to include Eric's family, who drove up on a beautiful spring day last weekend.

Barnhorst men (Eric, his dad Dick and brother Kevin) prep the field.

First the tractor creates furrows for the potato seed, then rock dust is sprinkled over the soil in advance of the potatoes being planted. The rock dust adds several trace minerals and potassium. Potato "seed" is actually just potatoes! We use a mix of saved potatoes from last year's harvest and purchased organic seed potatoes.

Naturally, the kids' favorite potato seeds are the funny shaped ones.

Rose, as always, is a determined little helper in the garden. Give her a row to plant and her favorite gear (kid-sized gloves and a little foam kneepad are her essentials) and she will slowly and diligently plant until the row is done. Interrupt her at your own risk - she will be unhappy if you pull her away before the task is done. Sylvia is still our wild child, but each year she gets a little more focused and a little more calm in the garden. We're still trying to teach her to walk in between the garden rows rather than trample across everything, but this year for the first time she did some real helping... for a little while anyway until her attention shifted to climbing in and out of the garden cart.

Hard at work. Do not disturb.

This year we finished in record time thanks to our extra helping hands, so don't worry that we spent the holiday toiling in the field. We did work up an appetite, though, and enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day dinner later that evening.

Happy belated Mother's Day and happy potato planting season!