jesse with potatoes

Jesse sitting on the back of the flat bed trailer with Wednesday’s  harvest of Kennebec potatoes.

Over the past 3 weeks, when someone puts out a call on the two-way radio Becca calling Jesse! or Eric calling David! the response usually is He’s harvesting potatoes in Arena! We don’t see much of David or Jesse this time of year. They lead the four man team that makes up the potato harvest crew that also includes Tonny and Sophal, two men from our Cambodian group. Each morning they drive to our Arena field which is 10 miles from the farm. Arena is in the Wisconsin River valley where the soil is sandy providing great conditions for growing spuds. Vermont Valley grows 17 varieties of potatoes on 10 acres for the CSA as well as our seed potato business. We produce potatoes to sell to other farmers to plant as seed. Did you know that potato seeds are actually just potatoes? So far the guys have brought in about 250,000 pounds of potatoes and they are about 85% done with the 2015 harvest. The entire harvest process takes 3 to 4 weeks. It could go more quickly but they balance the potato harvest with their CSA related jobs. By next week would should have David and Jesse back on the farm to answer our calls when we need them.

Jonnah

David unloading bins of French Fingerling potatoes. Each bulk bin holds about a thousand pounds.

David unloading bins of French Fingerling potatoes. Each bulk bin holds about a thousand pounds.

David organizing potatoes before they go into the potato cooler. We will be storing over 200,000 lbs of potatoes until April.

David organizing potatoes before they go into the potato cooler. We will be storing over 200,000 lbs of potatoes until April.

Jesse and David each drive a tractor. One pulls a potato digger and one pulls a potato wagon. The digger tosses harvested potatoes into the wagon.

Jesse and David each drive a tractor. One pulls a potato digger and one pulls a potato wagon. The digger unloads harvested potatoes into the wagon.