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Vimy Ridge Public School potato patch (in the foreground) on June 18. This has been a very dry spring. Rainfall since May 1 has been one-third of normal. Potatoes need a heavy rain before they will sprout. Until there is a rainstorm, the sweet potatoes are being watered by hand. Photo credit: Thistle Ha', Copyright 2016.

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Vimy Ridge Public School potato patch (in the foreground) on July 20. This is the driest growing season since 1968. Despite the dry weather, most of the Yukon Gold potatoes sprouted following a brief rain shower 3 weeks ago. They are growing well and starting to flower. The potatoes are ready for weeding and hilling now, but this cultivation removes scarce moisture from the soil. Hoping for more rain before doing this job. Photo credit: Thistle Ha', Copyright 2016.

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Vimy Ridge Public School potato patch on July 20. Much smaller potato plants (foreground) only sprouted after a rain storm 2 weeks ago. Photo credit: Thistle Ha', Copyright 2016.

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Vimy Ridge Public School potato patch on July 20. The Beauregarde sweet potatoes are growing well and starting to put out flower vines. Photo credit: Thistle Ha', Copyright 2016.