Appalachia Through My Eyes – Planting Taters

My life in appalachia planting taters

Three generations of the same family planting taters in Graham County NC.
The garden brings generations together.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    B.Ruth – Thank you for the comment! None of the Blind Pig gang in the photo : ) I know what you mean about the squatting thing! I need to write a post about that!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Ken – Have you misplaced your tater fork. A shovel works OK if you are going to slice them anyway but you need to find your tater fork before fall.
    b.Ruth – I may be wrong but I don’t see Tipper or any of her immediate family in that picture.
    Jim – I think the white stuff is fertilizer problee high in potash. Taters like potash when they are just little. The boys are dropping the taters. The white haired lady is dropping the fertilizer. The squatting person is a smaller kid is making sure the eyes are turned up and not directly in the fertilizer. The man with the hoe is laying off a row and the man in the distance is waiting to lay off the next one. The girl in pink is just there to make everything look like spring and keep her fingernails clean.
    Tipper – I think I have seen a picture of you with the white haired lady. The name Johnson wants to keep popping in my head (there’s that popping in my head again. Another aneurysm?) Let me know how far off I am.

  • Reply
    Trevis Hicks
    March 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Love this Tipper! My family has always planted our taters on Good Friday and dug em on Labor Day. In the past few years, I had been having some beautiful plants but no taters on them when we dug them. I was talking to my Dad this weekend and he told me that I needed to not put fertilizer in the row as I planted them. He said that I needed to only fertilize on the ground on top of them after having covered them. He said that putting it in the row as we planted was too much for them to handle but would make the plants beautiful. So this year, I am gonna try that and see if that yields better result. Love this tradition! It was always so nice to be in the garden with Dad on the tractor and then mom and I walking behind it planting and covering the row.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 29, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I don’t recon there’s no better way to work in the garden than to have family join in. The more the better…
    One time in late July, me and two of my youngest granddaughters went to the garden to dig some taters for supper. I will never forget how they grabbed ’em and put ’em in a basket and all that astonishment on their faces when I’d turn over the dirt with a shovel. They thought taters came in a bag from the grocery store,
    I guess. That day was a precious learning experience…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 29, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I love this picture. I have to ask. Is that brother Steve walking forward pulling the hoe and is that the little princess in the pink top watching maybe the Yale fellow? Is Paul in the picture? Someone in the row in front of the potato carrier is doing the North Carolina squat and I can’t see who that is…
    My Dad always would squat like that when there was not a chair or a extra one available, and sit like that for an hour or more, only shifting one or the other knee to the front on occasion…How do they do that?
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Two more days left this month for planting root crops…March 30/31…I don’t believe we will plant any taters this year in the bigger garden…I might slip a straw bale in somewhere and stick in a few, just to grabble some new ones to eat with some English Peas and new onions in June…ha That is the best Spring side dish ever.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    March 29, 2016 at 10:02 am

    One of the joys of late spring – grabbling nubbin taters in the garden. And oh, so tasty!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 9:58 am

    If it doesn’t rain too much on Thursday and Friday our church will plant this Saturday. Ages usually range from about 5 to near 90. We plant about 1/2 acre for the local food ministry and just before harvest plant another 1/2 acre of sweet potatoes.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Didn’t know Chitter and Chatter were really Corie and Katie, or vice versa.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 29, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Reminds me of growing up years. We all pitched in at gardening time to get it planted. It is one of the ways farm kids learn responsibility and also that they are important contributors to the family.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 29, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Tipper–I’ve had my spuds in the ground for two or three weeks, but they didn’t go in soil that looked anywhere near as rich and loose as that of the photo.
    I do have a two questions about the photo. First, what’s the white looking stuff between the cut-up seed potatoes. Second, I’ve always planted the potatoes with the cut side (white) down, mostly because that’s the way Grandpa Joe and Daddy did it but also because that way you have the eye or eyes pointed towards the surface once the row has been covered.
    Just curious.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 29, 2016 at 6:32 am

    That’s pretty cool, three generations working together to feed the family!

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