Potato Harvest…step one.

On our first day of the Potato Harvest in American Falls, Idaho, we arrived and saw row after row, acre after acre, of…dead vines and what looked like totally fallow fields.

rows of potatoes ready to be dug up

At this point, I wasn’t really all that impressed. Surely there wasn’t anything down in all that dead stuff! Hubby’s dad explained they have to kill off the really thick top growth to make digging up the potatoes easier, which they do with Sulfuric Acid. The sulfur goes back into the soil to renourish it, and the vines on top are turned to dust. Once that happens, they get a tractor out to dig up the potatoes

The potato puller upper tractor.

and place them in neat piles:

Piles of potatoes in the field

and get them ready for Spudnik, the biggest tractor I’ve ever seen. It not only digs up 4 rows of potatoes, but also picks up the 2 rows of taters that have been dug up by the first machine…simultaneously processing the equivalent of 8 rows all by itself.

Spudnik

So, it lumbers down acre after acre of potatoes:

starting to dig up potatoes

All the while being followed by greedy trucks waiting to get filled up by spuds. When one truck gets filled up, it leaves the formation to go to the warehouse and another quickly takes it’s place.

potatoes are dropped into waiting trucks

It’s almost like a fine tuned ballet, except without the tutus and tights.

Once the tractors and trucks had made their way towards the horizon, we followed up the rear and found some treasures that had been left behind, namely, a potato shaped like a #8 (or, snowman), a tiny little spud, and a yukon gold as big as Golfers head:

potato eaters

This was such a cool experience, I’ll share a little poem I specially crafted in honor of the spud.

Potatoes.
Lumpy brown
earthy, squat, and hidden
We grew to love you.
Taters.

I hope you’ve been equally enamored with the process, because next I’ll take you to a potato warehouse!

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One Response

  1. Without the tutus and tights hee hee hee : )

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