We spend 5 days a week harvesting in the month of July. Usually that means splitting into teams and spreading out all over the farm. However, there are a few crops that require a team effort. Here's how we harvest potatoes.
For every team that's picking there's another group behind digging to make sure we didn't miss any surfaced potatoes. These "sweepers" need a good eye and a bit of patience.
In our final field step we do some hand plowing. This is a quick way to see if we need another pass on the tractor, or if we can get the rest by hand. Faster than hand digging, but riskier as well, using a tool may catch and cut some of the potatoes.
At this stage the potatoes have a very fragile skin. We'll only knock off enough dirt to remove trapped moisture. We'll leave some of the dirt on to help with storage.