Potato Grower

November 2015

Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/590055

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 63

www.potatogrower.com 21 N orthwestern Montana isn't exactly an area of the world one would use the word "urban" to describe. It's a land of soaring mountains, sweeping valleys and, of course, that famous big sky. People come from all over the world to enjoy the area's abundant fishing, hunting and mountaineering opportunities— opportunities that can only exist in a place decidedly off the proverbial beaten path. Ironically enough, it's the area's reputation as a wilderness that has precipitated the urban sprawl that Kalispell seed potato grower Steve Streich says has been his biggest challenge as a grower. Some 2 million tourists visit nearby Glacier National Park annually, and the city of Kalispell has grown to accommodate them—the town's population has doubled in the past 25 years. Every potato grower in the valley has pulled out—except Streich. Steve Streich's father, Orrin Streich, got into the seed potato business in North Dakota in the mid-1940s, shortly after World War II ended. He had a solid customer base of commercial growers in Washington's Columbia Basin, and business was good for 30 years. When Orrin decided to retire in 1975, he headed west, to a place where he had spent countless hours over the years fishing, relaxing and taking in the beauty of God's creations— Montana's Flathead Valley. "He was not a good retirer," Steve says now with a smile. "He did not retire well. He started a really small potato operation, like it was going to be a hobby, but it just kind of expanded." ISOLATIONIST LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON Just like his dad did 30 years ago, Paul Streich, left, has brought his young wife back to the farm in Kalispell. www.potatogrower.com 21

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Potato Grower - November 2015