Potato Harvest: Storytelling Photographs



journal entry:

So many stories can be told through the observation of work. Our grandchildren who live nearby have come to love Grandpa’s garden and the many things that grow in it.

The summer is gone and so are the peas and the peaches and the apples and the pears. There are no more grapes on the fence. There are still tomatoes, onions and pumpkins.

And, for today, Potatoes.

The potato harvest is fun. The children are fascinated that potatoes grow in the ground and they delight in “finding” them. Not everyone sticks with it through the entire harvest but little Oli did and she’s not even three. She was by Grandpa’s side until the last potato was found. She dug her hands into the dirt and filled the wagon. She squealed at the shapes and sizes and as Grandpa thanked her for her help . . . she softly told him he was welcome.



Little cousins worked together in their bare feet.

Now and then they ran to the table for a drink of water.

Although it was autumn, it was a hot day.



The garden is not really about what is in it. Grandpa still plants it so that his family can learn from it. The grandchildren have learned to pick and sort peaches, apples, pears, pumpkins, potatoes, peas, carrots, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, squash, melons, peppers and other fun vegetables over many years and usually run for the garden when they come during the summer to see what they can find to eat. They all go for peas and most love little cherry tomatoes.

They love to pull up the carrots

and go through the gate to feed the horses.

Sometimes they change their minds and eat the carrots themselves.


Occasionally they are sidetracked.

Oli has found a worm. During the next few minutes, she shows it to everyone who will look and even offers to let other people hold it. Then, she finds some soft dirt away from the garden and puts it/him/her safely back.

This little girl has brothers and will hold anything that moves.

She is getting better at not kissing everything

which is a weakness she inherited from her mother.




( The potato wagon is called a Gorilla Cart. It came from Smiths and holds up to 80 pounds. It is easy to pull and has a lever which lifts the wagon bowl up so that you can dump things out. It was a good investment. Two children can even ride in it, down the hill on the slopes on either side of our house without falling out. )


Our children grew up with a garden and orchard just like those in which their children work and play. Many of them have gardens, too.  I like to take multiple photographs during an activity such as this one so that a story unfolds. It is impossible to do so without feeling deep gratitude for the bounty of the earth and the peace of our lives. Gardens always make me feel that way.

The potatoes this year are all reds. They are our favorites but we have planted Yukon Golds in the past and they are yummy, too. The older children sort the potatoes by size and Grandpa puts them in laundry baskets covered with burlap sacks. They sit on the cold floor of the garage. We eat them and share them throughout the winter. One baked potato covered with sour cream and butter can be a whole meal.

We may not always have this garden and orchard. It is a lot of work. I do know that the grandchildren will miss it when we don’t.

We’ll just have to see.


” The Lord didn’t burden us with work.  He blessed us with it. “


(even the littlest child can help)




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