Thursday, January 21, 2016

Potato Farming with his Neighbors

Somewhere out there I know there must be  photographs of Isaac B. Werner and his neighbors arriving to plant, and later tend and harvest what Isaac believed to be the first cooperative potato patch in Stafford County.

Perhaps he and his neighbors might have resembled this historic photograph of men gathered to harvest onions during that same period of time.

Isaac provided the land, and in his journal he described the morning the group of men arrived--Blanch, Smith, Logan and his boys, Ferguson, Pen Frack and young Carpenter on horseback posed behind the men, with Isaac's peach trees in the background, waiting for the photographer to document the first "Co-operative Tator Patch and Force at diging in Stafford County."

Next, the "Potato Patch Force" went out into the patch to begin work, and another photograph of the men at work was taken, shot looking back toward Isaac's house.

In some old photo album or in an unsorted box on the shelf of a museum, those two photographs must still exist.  How excited I would be if only someone discovered them!  Until that happens I must be satisfied with the similarity of the photograph of men gathering onions to fuel my imagination with how Isaac and his neighbors in their "Co-operative Tator Patch" might have looked!  


The Blog Fodder said...

Pretty fair yield of onions. Was the soil light enough for good root crop production?

Lynda Beck Fenwick said...

I'm not sure where this photograph was taken. Are you asking about onions or the soil in Stafford County where Isaac lived? The soil on Isaac's homestead was basically sandy loam, with a few areas that had clay. When Isaac wrote to the professor at Kansas State College he was told the problem with his potatoes was high temperatures and lack of rain.