Cousins work to grow potatoes

19:07, Dec 18 2012
Max Morris, 10, Graeme Gane, AJ Gane, 5, Jake Gane, 5, Sam Morris, 5, Sara Gane 14, and Mya Gane, 7 and Jimmy Morris, 8.
Jimmy Morris, 8, AJ Gane, 5, Jake Gane, 5, Max Morris, 10, Sara Gane 14, and Mya Gane, 7. Sam Morris, 5, sita at centre.
Jimmy Morris, 8, Sara Gane 14, Mya Gane, 7, Graeme Gane, Sam Morris, 5, AJ Gane, 5, Jake Gane, 5, Max Morris, 10.

Graeme "Poppa" Gane, of Rapaura, and his grandchildren were busy digging potatoes yesterday.

Mr Gane lent his eight grandchildren a 0.4-hectare patch of paddock where they could grow potatoes to earn money.

This was his way of teaching them some life lessons, Mr Gane said. Earning money required hard work, and potatoes did not grow in supermarkets.

He also wanted the children to understand something of their family history of growing 12 hectares of potatoes for market on their Selmesbrook farm in Selmes Rd.

"The spuds are gone and the ground's all in grapes," he said.

The children, aged from 5 to 14, planted a tonne of liseta-variety potato seed and expected to harvest 2 or 3 tonnes.


Poppa's Potatoes are for sale at the farm gate for $5 a 2-kilogram bag and through contacts.

Grandma Raewyn Gane said Waterlea Rest Home had placed an order and residents planned to visit the property to watch the children at work.

The children would keep a portion of their earnings to spend as they pleased and the rest would be banked, said Mrs Gane.

Planned purchases included a potato-top pie for 5-year-old Jake, a dog made from vineyard posts for 7-year-old Mya, and a motorbike for 5-year-old AJ.

Top competitive swimmer 14-year-old Sara Gane planned to buy new togs.

Max, 10, was pleased the balance was going into the bank because this would help pay for things like university.

Last year, the children planted a third of the area and the venture went so well that Mr Gane decided to let them triple their business this season.

The Marlborough Express