Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

70 years of Potato farming

This Old Potato Machine 60 years

There are some seventy years between the two photographs above, the young Girl in the left, in the original photograph is Mona, my Wife Breda’s mother, these fields have been ploughed and planted every year since.

Last year I took the following images of the family planting the potatoes again for another growing season, then collecting them after for sale. The machine in the pictures was originally imported from the US and hopefully will be working for many years to come.

I want the following images to tell the rest of this story……

This Old Potato Machine 1

This Old Potato Machine 11

This Old Potato Machine 3

This Old Potato Machine 9

This Old Potato Machine 4

This Old Potato Machine 10

This Old Potato Machine 5

This Old Potato Machine 8

This Old Potato Machine 7

This Old Potato Machine 12

Irish farm 1

30 responses

  1. I love the old B&W. It’s interesting to see how much things have changed πŸ™‚

    May 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    • Hello Norma, Thank you !

      Yes after a good spring clean, we all sat around in the old farm house the other night going through lots of old pictures from years back, its one of the best nights you could have.

      Times we all missed out on, big time I think!

      May 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  2. 1annecasey

    Great post Nigel. Beautiful series of images. Perfectly told photo-story. Vibrant colours. Lovely contrast.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    • Thank you Anne,

      I have wanted to get to this post for a while, I love it up at the old farm, to think we lived in London for so long and now we are only a drive away from these places, well its just Brilliant!!


      May 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm

  3. cd1972

    Great post with beautiful images. Nice colors!

    May 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm

  4. Love the images of machinery and working the land, there is something warm and comforting about it all. Very nice, thanks Nigel

    May 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    • Hello Mike, Thank you and I am very pleased you enjoyed this post πŸ™‚


      May 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm

  5. Great post and brilliant machine detail photographs. Looking at your top photograph it seems that the landscape has not changed much over those seventy years. Enjoyed this…

    May 7, 2013 at 12:43 am

    • Hello Joseph πŸ™‚

      Thank you …..

      The field pattens have changed some, too open up smaller fields but your mostly right Joseph, its a very old landscape and one of the few places I know where unless a tractor is going you can only hear the birds sing…..

      May 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  6. artscottnet

    Beautiful country, must be a real joy to be so close. Fantastic images as usual. Mechanical difficulties?

    May 7, 2013 at 1:04 am

    • Hello Scott….

      Yes it is easy to forget, we used to be such townies in London, the idea of spending a day Potato planting and picking πŸ™‚ well πŸ™‚

      Yes the old Gumme finds the sometimes wet fields in Ireland hard going, but its only that you have to go up top, now and then and remove the weeds and mud..

      Like you say Scott its great fun!!!


      May 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

  7. poppytump

    I love this Nigel . What a real sense of family history .. to have those photos side by side … I see the first was taken just a little bit further up the field looking down on the ruin more but you can see the old hedgerows and lie of the land is the same …
    Splendid photos .
    My those are big tatties πŸ™‚

    May 7, 2013 at 6:19 am

    • Hello Poppy πŸ™‚

      Its great you noticed that, I did try to find the same spot but the field positions have changed more than you would think. Its only modern farming that’s done that for so long before everything was the same….

      Thanks Poppy, Very pleased you enjoyed the post, I had a great time last year doing this…


      May 7, 2013 at 10:30 am

  8. victoriaaphotography

    Wow, fantastic photos. They really resonate with me as my Mother’s family were farmers and planted enormous fields of potatoes.

    How great to have that B & W photo to compare with modern farming methods.

    (Note: these large colour images are much easier for me to see. Most of your B & W images are very small on my screen and I was started to miss some of the details).

    …..and my oh my, those ‘spuds’ as we call them in the country, are enormous – saves peeling so much skin off. Are they organically grown or commercially grown with the usual pesticides and sprays etc?

    May 7, 2013 at 9:27 am

    • Hello Victoria…

      I can send you some if you like, although I think the best from these have all gone πŸ™‚

      Thanks for you comments Victoria, I do love colour images as well, but have a big love for black and white. Do you click on them for the larger version, this is down to the wordpress template I selected all that time ago. I am thinking of setting up just a gallery page using another template. If you click twice on the image though I think you should get full screen size.

      That’s great to know about your family history, do you have many pictures from back then. Its great to go through them all!!!

      No they are not organic, its just a small family effort these days, we all have to muck in and help and its hard to find the time needed. The land is also on an old family farm that’s sadly no longer lived in, its about a 40min drive and even though that’s not far its not the same as stepping out of the door.

      We stay some nights and get a fire on and cook and have the odd glass, but that’s about it.

      Organic would be great though, but it so much more work, maybe one day!


      May 7, 2013 at 10:49 am

      • victoriaaphotography

        Yes, I have many photos of the ancestors, but my father must still have the book which shows my uncle using draft horses as a farming method (being the last farmer in the state of Tasmania, Aust. to do so).

        If you find it worthwhile, I would certainly be one person who would benefit from seeing larger versions of your B & W images on a new template ‘gallery style’.

        Can’t remember if I had clicked on your images trying to get a larger version – probably did. I have my 13″ Mac Pro connected to a Dell 27″ high resolution screen and have been disappointed in some of your darker images not showing much detail. My eyesight is not 100% with spectacles, but I can usually see enough on the 27″ monitor to edit photos, so in theory, should be able to see more detail on your images.

        May 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

    • Thanks Victoria, I will have a look over the week and see what workpress lets me do.



      May 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

  9. Lovely images. Who would have thought that the journey of a potato could be so colourful! πŸ™‚

    May 7, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    • πŸ™‚ Reds and greens and orange and blue ……….

      Here is a Potato just for you !

      OK a bit Naff, I need to go to my leaba

      Thanks Ws πŸ™‚

      May 8, 2013 at 12:34 am

  10. Awesome post, vibrant reds oranges blues and green, you honour the farmers and their tools

    May 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    • Hello Annerose

      Thank you for your great comment and I am very pleased you enjoyed this post


      May 8, 2013 at 12:36 am

  11. Oooh how fun! I especially love the old photo: the way they’re all lined up, with your mum-in-law looking like quite the young lady, the Collie standing guard, the draft horses, the wagon, and especially the building in the background. Is that a castle? Nice memories and wonderful to compare them to modern times.

    May 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    • Hello Sharon…. πŸ™‚

      Its a very special photo to the family, they have lots as having a camera around was a big family thing.

      Yes its called grace town castle, its only a shell these days and consisted of lots of buildings and grounds.

      Thank you Sharon !

      May 9, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  12. Great story Nigel. Though I don’t come from a potato farming family, I did grow up in the second largest potato-farming town in Canada. I love the countryside. Thanks for sharing this story.

    May 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    • Its a Pleasure Shane, very pleased you enjoyed the post…

      May 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm

  13. Nice photos. I really enjoy seeing the farm equipment and the contrast with the old ways is very interesting to me.

    May 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    • Thank you, you your visit and comments and I am very pleased you enjoyed it here πŸ™‚

      May 21, 2013 at 11:09 am

  14. I love the detail in the images and how the colors set off the parts of machinery. People think farming must be drab but you’re showing a real alternative to that way of thinking.

    May 31, 2013 at 2:23 am

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.