The Great Potato Race

Jimmy and Peggy Mair of Grande Prairie in the potato garden, 1954

Jimmy and Peggy Mair of Grande Prairie in the potato garden, 1954

I just dug my potatoes, and I imagine lots of people with gardens are getting theirs done too.  It got me thinking about the many items I have noticed in the newspapers about the biggest potatoes, longest vines, most in a hill, weirdest shapes, and anything else that concerned this most important crop for the early settlers.  While the sizes and weights varied from year to year, it does seem as though things grew bigger back then.  I can hardly imagine potato plants almost 6 feet high, and unless they counted differently in those days too, 385 potatoes in one hill is amazing (unbelievable, but amazing!).  To top it all off is a story about a fellow who went out to his potato patch and played his bagpipes to the spuds.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Northern Tribune ~ 3 September 1936

Northern Tribune ~ 3 September 1936

Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune ~25 September 1941

Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune ~25 September 1941

Grande Prairie Herald ~ 18 September 1931

Grande Prairie Herald ~ 18 September 1931

Grande Prairie Herald ~ 18 September 1931

Grande Prairie Herald ~ 18 September 1931

Grande Prairie Herald ~ 13 September 1929

Grande Prairie Herald ~ 13 September 1929

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 7, 1934

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 7, 1934