Seth Pascoe goes back to school for potato presentation

In Alberta, they have something called the Classroom Agriculture Program, where a group of volunteers across the province visit schools to give presentations. This month it was my turn to go and talk to a class of 10-year-olds and tell them all about being a potato farmer in an hour.

Apart from the fact that the entire class and teacher were convinced that I was Australian, my presentation went well. However, things took a slightly negative turn at the end during the open question and answer session.

One child asked what I would do if “every single potato in your entire potato shed turned to slime”. I answered by saying that I would probably swear and then start looking for a new job. The class found this hilarious.

This was promptly followed by: “What would happen if a meteor shower hit and destroyed your entire potato field”, to which I replied that I would probably cry and no doubt have some food safety paperwork to complete. They certainly have active and inventive imaginations at that age, which can only be a good thing.

The frost is finally coming out of the ground, so our yards have turned to jelly and the spring road weight restrictions are in full effect. Coincidentally, having barely trucked any hay or grain off the farm the whole winter, the phone is now ringing regularly with requests for both. The politically correct term of Murphy’s Law springs to mind. Despite this, I acquired an exemption permit to travel on the restricted roads and am happy to occupy my mind with trucking some grain off the farm.

We had snowfall only 10 days ago and the ground is still saturated. I don’t foresee much, if any, potato planting occurring before the first week of May.


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