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Cypress Manor resident still growing potatoes

October 22, 2011
By Garrett Neese ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK - Eighty-five years after he picked his first potato, Rudy Larson was back at it again this summer.

Larson, 90, who now lives at Cypress Manor in Hancock, grew a plot of potatoes at Cypress Manor this summer, which he dubbed the "Rudy Larson Potato Farm."

The potatoes were planted May 11 and harvested four months later. Cypress Manor made a dinner with the potatoes to celebrate.

Article Photos

Daily Mining Gazette/Garrett Neese
Rudy Larson, 90, is shown at Cypress Manor. Larson, a long-time potato farmer, recently harvested a small group he had planted at Cypress Manor.

"Four potatoes in a tire is what we planted, and look at them," Kathy Heikkinen, activity director for Cypress Manor. "It was exciting for us."

Larson got assistance from Cypress Manor staff.

"We'd push him out there, and he'd check to see how they were going," Heikkinen said. "No potato bugs - he checked for those every day."

Larson grew potatoes at his 320-acre farm on Paradise Road in Chassell from 1952 to 1983, when he retired from commercial growing. Until he got a mechanical harvester in 1960, they were all hand-picked. Along with 40 acres of potatoes, he also had cows and a rotation of grains.

He continued picking his own potatoes at the farm until 2000, when he got a knee replaced. This summer was the first time he had done it since.

"Did that bring back a lot of good memories?" Heikkinen asked him.

"Oh yeah," he said.

Larson's family appreciates the opportunity.

"I think it was really nice of the facility to do that for him," said Lois Knuuttila, Larson's daughter. "It kept him going, and now he's looking forward to the winter, because he likes the snow and he likes to talk about skiing."



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