By Nancy Messmer
Friends of Hoko River State Park, Clallam Bay Sekiu Lions and volunteers worked hard throughout the month of September to ready the gardens and grounds for the Potato Dig and fall visitors. Volunteers worked throughout the summer, planting, weeding, and watering plants.
After a storm, a rainy Saturday visit to the farm revealed the downed Sanican and branches strewn in the roadway and yard.
Lions righted the Sanican and cleaned it. They cleared branches and readied the gardens for digging the next day.
Despite steady rain throughout the morning on Sunday, Sept. 19, Potato Dig volunteers came to the Dig armed with rain gear and ready to dig.
Volunteers Kris and Jack Tuttle drove up from Forks, and two volunteers were drop-in’s from Florida and Rhode Island on their way to hike at Lake Ozette.
Friends of Hoko River State Park Board Member, June Bowlby, welcomed the volunteers with health safe information and procedures. Board Member Paul Bowlby hosted and assisted volunteers.
The sun came out for several hours. The group responded with gusto, digging potatoes in the demonstration plots, after local gardener, John Burdick described and demonstrated his methods for potato planting, digging and storing. Volunteers then moved to dig the two potato rows in the kitchen garden, sorting potatoes for table or seed, and separating potatoes by type.
The real gold we hoped for was a bumper crop of Emil Person’s Ozette Potatoes to use for seed potatoes. There was a lot of talk among diggers about best practices in processing and storing seed potatoes.
By end of afternoon, the group cleaned up the garden and yard and left with a sense of accomplishment, and some potatoes to eat and some to plant.