This spring 2021 Inverness County Cares (ICC) members gathered in Judique to plant a potato crop in support of their project helping a school for Albinos in Zambia. The garden plot is situated beside a stream on the John and Theresa MacInnis property in Judique. The brook has probably flooded the area over the years, producing a beautiful fertile flood plain. This fall the ICC garden has produced a bumper crop of beautiful pesticide free potatoes which are being sold as a fundraiser for Inverness County Cares.
In May 2021 many varieties of potatoes were planted, blue (all the way through), Caribe (blue skin), Red Pontiacs, Fingerlings, Kenebec, Harvest Gold, Yukon gold, Highland Russets and Dakota Russets. Some were purchased as seed and some were saved from our harvest last year.
The garden plot measures 90 by 135 feet and 38 rows of potatoes were planted, each row being 90 feet long. Using two TroyBilt tillers, the ground was tilled many times to loosen the soil and break up the earth into finer particles. A plow attachment was used to mound the soil and create hills. The potatoes were planted approximately 10 inches apart with our calculations showing that 20 lbs of potatoes will fill a 100-foot row. After the potatoes were planted the rich soil was easily mounded on top of the potatoes. The rows were spaced to allow for cultivation by tiller. The field was irrigated using the system provided by Marlanda Strawberry Farms (Joannie and Angus MacDonell).
It was a team effort with people rock picking, cutting potatoes, measuring and marking rows, hoeing the rows, raking to cover, providing refreshments and rototilling. The planting process took about three days. Many hands made light work. Six of the 38 rows (100 pounds) will go to Holly’s Helping Hands Food Bank.
The crop grew well this summer and produced large healthy plants. Part of the field was dug September 25th, with John J MacDonald and Leon Livingstone doing the honors with the tractor and plow as well as 12 pickers. The potatoes (approximately 2600 lbs) were bagged after they had an opportunity to dry out.
Friday, October 1, the potato harvest was celebrated and completed with ‘The Great Judique Potato Lift’, an outdoor picnic organized by Bill Murphy with funding from the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. There was music, a BBQ and of course the Potato Lift. The remaining rows were dug using Lauchie Rankin’s tractor and a hand guided single furrow plow provided by Leon Livingstone. This lifted and turned over the potatoes for easy picking by approximately 30 volunteers of all ages, who got down and dirty in that fine earth. Approximately 1100 hundred additional pounds of potatoes were uncovered (Friday) from the 7 (90 foot) rows. These potatoes, mainly Russets were very large (up to 8 inches long) and oblong shaped, making peeling very easy.
Many thanks to the numerous people who came to buy potatoes on Friday and those who bought potatoes in the following days. Your support will help provide life essentials and an education for the blind and albino children at the schools in Zambia. Thank you to everyone who worked countless hours to make sure the crop was successful.
Our two Inverness County Cares refundable can and bottle collection trailers in Mabou and Port Hood, are all sporting new signs designed by Camille Chapman and created by Maple Signs of Port Hawkesbury. We want to express out thanks to Ted Van Zutphen, Stanley Beaton and Raymond DeBont for looking after the collection trailers and to our supporters who donate their cans and bottles to support our project in Zambia and the Port Hood food bank.
Inverness County Cares always welcomes new members. Individuals who wish to donate, can use the donate button on our website https://invernesscountycares.com
When using E-transfer, please include your mailing address for CRA tax receipts and a thank you. E-transfer address: firstname.lastname@example.org
or send a cheque to Inverness County Cares Box 99, Judique, NS, Canada, B0E1P0. Taxation receipts provided for USA and Canada.