From Amazing Race to Open Farm Day: Busy year at potato farm
Amazing Race Canada visited Blue Bay Farms in May
Randall Nieuwhof of Blue Bay Farms in Rustico, P.E.I., is finding himself a little more in the spotlight this year than is normal for an Island potato farmer.
During the spring planting season, Blue Bay Farms was a stop on The Amazing Race Canada. Nieuwhof put the teams to work planting. They cut up seed potatoes into sets, and each team planted four rows about six metres long.
It took them about an hour and a half. Nieuwhof said they did pretty well for novices, but he has a different, and faster, way of planting himself.
"With a six-row planter it doesn't take very long — five seconds," he said.
"It's not something you see every day any more, people planting potatoes by hand."
Nieuwhof said he was surprised at the size of the television crew that arrived at his farm for the show, with two cameras and other support staff for every team. The filming took two days, May 9-10.
Open Farm Day
Nieuwhof is hoping to see crowds at his farm again this Sunday for Open Farm Day.
The annual event will have 28 host farms this year, featuring honey, alpacas, apples, dairy, Christmas trees, horses, as well as Nieuwhof's potato operation.
Nieuwhof plans include activities for the whole family.
"They'll be a sandbox with some tractors to play in the sand with, that little plot of potatoes might need some digging, and they'll be various pieces of equipment on display," he said.
"Inside we'll have a look at the packing line and they'll be different potato varieties on display."
Nieuwhof's crew will be all week preparing for the event. He said they have the time because the crop is behind schedule.
The potato crop is still feeling the effects of dry July, he said. The potatoes could still use another good soaking to help them grow a little more before the harvest, and he is hoping that might come Tuesday afternoon.
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With files from Island Morning