‘Tater Plantin Time

Every year, when March rolls around, I can almost hear my dad say these three words, “’Tater plantin’ time.”  We kids knew exactly what that meant.  He planted potatoes on March 17th of every year, regardless of what the Old Farmer’s Almanac said, and according to my almanac, which I picked up from Carl Gene’s pharmacy, this would not be a good year to plant on the 17th.

When I say he planted, that means that our job was cut out for us.  For a family of ten children, it took a lot of potatoes.  He always bought red Pontiac seed potatoes; they make good mashed potatoes.  And he didn’t buy just a peck sack of them; it was a bushel or more.

With our sharpened knives, we were the ones who cut them into pieces for planting.  Of course, you didn’t just cut them any old way; they had to have the “eyes” in the right place and as many cuts as you could get out of one potato.  Then, if it was a rather large potato, we cut out the middle of the potato to cook for our next meal.  Nothing was wasted.

By the time we had them all cut to his specification, Dad had the ground ready and it was time to drop them in the rows.  Back in my time, we had no DDT or other insect sprays, so who do you think picked off those many potato bugs? 

Digging them, sorting and storing them and, finally, eating them.

This time of the year, I think of “tater plantin time” and am thankful for the many wonderful memories of long ago.

Submitted by Ernie C

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First Christian Church is a Disciples of Christ congregation. Learn more about the Disciples on our Kansas region site and our main denomination page.


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First Christian Church

319 W. Laurel St.
Independence, KS 67301