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The Potato Harvest

For those of you who may not know, PEI's biggest agricultural crop is potatoes. PEI is known as the Idaho of Canada. And have been enjoying watching the potato harvest from our window this year. Here is a quick crash course in potato harvesting.

Potatoes are planted and then hilled  in the rows to try and prevent the potatoes from being exposed to the sun, which causes them to turn green.

As you can see, the hills are pretty tall.
Once the potatoes are ready for harvest, the plants are usually sprayed to "top kill" the plant that is above the ground. Then the first piece of equipment to come to the field is the windrower.

The windrower is the implement that actually "digs" the potatoes. It digs up several rows from the ground, send the majority of the plant part straight out the back while putting all of the potatoes in a nice windrow off to the side.
The windrower in the machine in front.
Then the potato digger comes and picks up the windrow. It does a bit more separating of plant parts from potatoes. There are also a few people who ride on the back to pick out rocks and things from the potatoes before they are loaded into the truck to go to the warehouse for storage.
Behind the windower you can see the digger.
The truck has to drive alongside the digger through the whole field. The harvest crew that we were watching had three trucks running.
A truck partly full of potatoes.
It was a lovely day to watch the potato harvest.
And I know for those of you who read this who actually are potato farmers, I probably left out some important details, but I hope that I was accurate it what I did say about the harvest.


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