English Dialects | German Dialects | Links | Searchable Database | Home


The speaker is a 42-year-old White man with a college education from Pocatello, Idaho; he was recorded in 1967.



County: Bannock
State: ID

Commentary:
Pocatello sits along the Portneuf River and has a present-day population of 54,255. Founded as a railroad stop during the gold rush, the city was named in honor of the Shoshone chief who granted the Utah and Northern Railway right-of-way through the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in the 1870s. Once the gold rush had subsided, the fertile soil around Pocatello attracted ranchers and farmers; agriculture (particularly growing and processing the potatoes for which Idaho is known) is still an important part of the local economy. In this segment the speaker talks about old and new practices in potato farming.
FW: Well, for example, how do you plant potatoes?

Inf: Well, it???s all done with machinery now. When I was farming, it, there was some horse, it used some horses, but nowadays it???s all machinery, big potato planters, an???, an??? they start out with one-row de-, uh, machines, and now they have ???em as big as four, mi-, four-row machines.

FW: Plant four rows at once.

Inf: Uh-huh. And then same way with digging. They used to hand pick ???em all, where now it???s all the expense of uh, of uh, hiring potato pickers is, is, uh, so expensive that they use, uh, comb-, spud combines now, so it???s all machine-, done with machinery.

FW: OK, now, now when, uh, when you plant ???em, uh, I mean, what do you plant, seeds?

Inf: Yeah, you put???we-, well, it???s not the regular potato seed, but it???s, it, you take the potato that you eat, that portion, that???s n-, that???s part of the stem, actually. And, and so, uh, the seed, you know, uh you don???t plant the actual potato seed. But the pot-, uh, what you do plant is the par-, portion you eat, and you cut it up in pieces. Uh, what they call sets. And, or just, make the, well, make ???em stretch, you know, so, not (xx)???

FW: I mean, in other words, if you plant by hand, you stand out there in the field with a knife and you cut a potato up in little pieces and just stick a piece in the ground, each place.

Inf: Well, you???d maybe on a garden plot, but when you, most potato farms here, uh, even in my, when I was farming, uh, around fifty to a hundred acres is average. And so, the cu-, you, you cut ???em with a machine. Or you had hand cutters, but th-, they did that in a potato cellar, where, uh, I mean you, you didn???t just take a knife and, you had this potato cutter, it???s called. And you???d have four people standing on, with uh th-, each at a separate place with a knife, an??? potatoes are piled in the bunker, and then, uh, they pick ???em off the bunker an??? cut ???em. But now they have machines that do this, too.

Back to US English Map
back to American Languages home