“So what did you do with all those potatoes?” someone asked me after reading my last week’s tale about potato digging, potato picking and country school potato vacation.
At noon, and again at the end of a harvest day, we loaded the filled potato crates on our steel-wheeled wagon pulled by trusty Frank and Charlie, our Percheron draft horses. We stored the potatoes in two places, in bins in the cellar of our farm house and in our potato cellar, a little building built into the side of the hill just west of our chicken house.
Farm houses in those days did not have basements, but had dirt floor cellars. Because we had no furnace and heated the house with wood stoves, the cellar was always cool.
The separate potato cellar structure, built mostly underground, was where most of the potatoes were stored. The upper part was for machinery storage, the cellar was divided into several potato bins.
We stored the potatoes until the prices would climb a bit, usually in late winter, and then we would sort them with a hand-cranked potato sorter, bag them and tote them to Wild Rose where the potato buyers operated big warehouses.
Of course we ate potatoes, three times a day, fried potatoes for breakfast, boiled potatoes for dinner, and often baked potatoes for supper.
Potatoes along with cucumbers and green beans were our cash crops, providing a little extra money to supplement the bi-monthly milk checks from our small dairy herd.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Nothing grows without roots.
CHECK THIS OUT: Tune in Wisconsin Public Radio on November 9, Larry Meiller show, 11:45-12:30. Discussion of my new novel, Cranberry Red.
October 28, 7:00 p.m. Oconto Falls Library.
October 30, 9-4:00, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.
November 3, 3:15 p.m. Wisconsin Library Association, Wisconsin Dells, Horse Drawn Days, Barns of Wisconsin.
November 5-7, National Farm Toy Show, Dyersville, Iowa. Horse Drawn Days, Barns of Wisconsin and more.
November 9, Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio, 11:45-12:30, Cranberry Red.
November 13, 9:30 a.m. Sheboygan Falls Library, Horse Drawn Days.
November 16, 7:00 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Cranberry Red
December 2, 7:00 p.m. McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Cranberry Red.
December 4, 10:30-2:30. Dregne’s Scandinavian Gifts, Westby. Book signing for Barns of Wisconsin, Horse Drawn Days, and Cranberry Red.