Covid-19 has stalled many organizations, but at the Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering, volunteers prepped for potato planting on Monday, May 11.
The museum plants about two and a half acres each year with potato seed they have donated to them by Thompson Seed in Berea, Neb.
“It takes one ton of potato seed to plant an acre,” said Dick Kuxhausen, a volunteer at the museum. “Potato seed is high priced, and we wouldn’t be able to do this if not for the donation from Thompson Seed, over the years, they’ve been really good to us.”
The volunteers spent the day sorting and cutting potatoes with antique Lockwood machinery and then did some more potatoes by hand to get the amount necessary for planting.
The volunteers planted the potato seed when there was a break from the rains with an antique potato planter.
While the process entails lots of hands-on labor, the volunteers work quickly and efficiently.
“If we don’t have any break downs, we’ll be done by the afternoon,” Kuxhausen said. “We have about seven guys here, ranging from 17 to 90 years of age, helping out.”
The potatoes are part of the annual September Harvest Festival, where the public’s invited to learn about farming practices and the machinery used in the early 1900s.
“People really enjoy coming out here and picking potatoes,” he said. “We’ve had people that have been coming out since it started and are now bringing their kids and grandkids.”
The Harvest Festival is held in mid-September, but with Covid-19, no decisions have been made yet on the days.
For more information, contact the museum at 308-436-1989.