F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 22 POTATO GROWER Earl Mallinger Of Oslo, Minnesota Has Been Involved In Farming His Entire Life In December right before Christmas I visited with Earl Mallinger at his home in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Earl has a lot of pictures and stories from his many decades of farming. His life of being on the farm and farming for 90+ years is quite incredible. We will apologize in advance for some of the picture quality in this article, some of these pictures had to be reproduced as they are many decades old but we wanted to include them in this story. The Mallinger family has a century old connection to farming. Earl’s father, Peter is from Luxembourg and came to America where he began farming in 1918. Earl was nine years old when his father grew his first crop of potatoes. His father retired from farming in 1937 that was the year Earl began farming at the ripe age of 21. Earl farmed with his brother Felix for 32 years. They got their start in the seed potato business in the early 1940’s. Earl and his brother Felix built the first pota- to warehouse in Olso, Minnesota back in 1942 and it still stands today. Earl bought out Felix in 1970, “He was 62 and he didn’t like farm- ing as much as I did.” Earl says. Earl grew around 500 to 600 acres of seed potatoes at his peak. He says many years he had 20 different vari- eties planted. Earl farmed under the name of Mallinger Brothers Potato Company back then. For nearly a decade the brothers employed 40 people each fall to pick the seed potatoes by hand. The workers, mainly from Oslo, Minnesota were paid for each 100 pound sack they picked. Earl retired from potatoes in August of 2001, he remembers growing potatoes fondly saying, “potatoes were very good to me for all those years.” During his seed growing years Earl Earl Mallinger with his family. (Earl is in center of photo in light green shirt).