Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Legacy of the Plains volunteers sow potatoes used for Harvest Fest

  • 0
Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Bob Ring drives the tractor while Gary Riley (left) and Larry Hubbard work to plant potatoes on Friday, May 13, at the Legacy of the Plains Museum.

Picking potatoes at Legacy of the Plains’ Harvest Fest has become an annual rite for the community.

On Thursday, May 11, volunteers broke out some of the museum’s equipment to begin planting this year’s crop. Usually, it is a one-day job. High winds and rain blew in while the volunteers were taking a lunch break, forcing them to pack it up early. The volunteer farmers picked up where they left off Friday morning.

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Volunteers planted these potatoes at the Legacy of the Plains Museum on Friday, May 13. The potatoes will play a big role in September's Harvest Festival.

Not only do the volunteers plant the potatoes, but also they take care of them up until the Harvest Festival, Legacy of the Plains director Dave Wolf said.

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Bob Ring drives the tractor while Larry Hubbard (not visible) and Gary Riley work the planter while they plant potatoes at the Legacy of the Plains Museum on Friday, May 13.

Wolf said potatoes have been a staple since the beginning of the annual festival.

“They’ve been planting potatoes as long as (the museum has) been doing the Harvest Festival,” he said.

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Bob Ring (on the tractor) and Larry Hubbard wait for Bob Vaughan to load potatoes into the planter before they plant another row on Friday, May 13, at Legacy of the Plains Museum.

The festival, in its 26th year, will highlight potatoes as its specialty crop.

“We’ll have demonstrations of the potato equipment and talk about them like we do with corn and sugar beets,” Wolf said.

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Larry Hubbard (right) feeds potatoes into the planter and Gary Riley feeds them into the hopper as they plant potatoes on Friday, May 13, at Legacy of the Plains Museum.

Wolf said the Harvest Fest is one of the museum’s biggest fundraisers of the year.

“It’s extremely important for fundraising because we sell the potatoes up until, really, Christmas time.” he said.

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Larry Hubbard (left) feeds potatoes into the planter and Gary Riley feeds them into the hopper as they plant potatoes on Friday, May 13, at Legacy of the Plains Museum.

In addition to being a fundraiser, it is also an opportunity to teach history, Wolf said.

“There’s an education component (to it). Kids and adults come in and see what it’s like to be able to go down and pick potatoes, and, really, experience that kind of historical harvesting,” he said. “And, it’s fun. You can bring little kids out, so they can do it. The Harvest Festival is just a great way for us to really demonstrate how farming was done, really, from the 1880s until about the 1960s or 1970s.”

Even though technology has improved and potatoes are now harvested by machines, Wolf said it is important to know the history of agriculture.

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Legacy of the Plains Museum volunteer Bill Vaughan places a bag of potatoes in the storage area at the Gering Senior Center Monday. After the recent Harvest Festival, the museum had over two tons of potatoes to give away.

“It’s important to showcase what work that went into it, and how everybody was involved,” he said. “There’s an old adage that we hear around here — if you’re old enough to walk, you’re old enough to help. There were lots of different jobs for kids of all ages.”

Farmers’ children would help harvest crops, thin sugar beets and getting the ones they don’t want to put to market to the cattle, Wolf said.

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Larry Hubbard (right) feeds potatoes into the planter and Gary Riley feeds them into the hopper as they plant potatoes on Friday, May 13, at Legacy of the Plains Museum.

This year’s Harvest Festival is Sept. 17-18. Wolf said he hopes to expand the offerings at the festival.

“We’re going to try to get a lot more demonstrations out here. We’ve started that the last couple of years. It’s been a really good event for us,” he said. “We really just want to get people really immersed into the different activities that families have done for the last 100 years.”

Legacy of the Plains Potatoes

Bob Ring drives the tractor while Gary Riley (left) and Larry Hubbard work to plant potatoes on Friday, May 13, at the Legacy of the Plains Museum.

0 Comments

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Jeff Van Patten is the sports editor of the Star-Herald. Jeff can be reached by calling 308-632-9048 or emailing jeff.vanpatten@starherald.com.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Trending

Breaking News