Sunday, 11 September 2016

Another clever Gadget

Missing it last year we were determined not to miss it this year and that was harvesting our spuds. Having already popped up to the field to dig up 4 plants so we could have yummy egg and chips, we realised looking down the rows that we were going to end up with loads of them. Thankfully we didn’t have to dig the rest up by hand as our neighbour had this fantastic potato lifting machine we could all use, and definitely better than us having bad backs. It would have taken ages otherwise as there were 14 rows to harvest altogether, 4 of them ours. Firstly two flat plough blades scoop under the potatoes lifting the soil, rocks, plants and potatoes into a basket which is turning behind the machine. The contents are then deposited onto a metal conveyor belt which travels up to us. We then move the potatoes onto smaller conveyor belts, one either side of the main one and the potatoes then travel up into a sack. Everything that’s left continues up the centre belt and then drops down a shute back onto the ground, so clever. We’ve found it hard finding good chip and roasting potatoes but these varieties are perfect - Rosabelle, Desiree and Bintje, crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, so that’s what we chose to grow this year. We now have enough potatoes to keep us going for months along with the Charlottes that we’re still eating.

Plus there’s always time to play on toys as well :)

Potato 1

The clever gadget.

Potato 2

View into the basket.

Potato 3

The furrow left behind.

Potato 4

Sylvain sorting out blocked a stone.

Potato 5

Here they come.

Potato 6

Picking out the spuds.

Potato 10

Happy smiles.

Potato 7

Sylvain's potatoes on their way to his house.

Potato 8

Our spuds.

Potato 9

Some boy fun.


  1. Certainly very much easier than the way I do it!!! Hope all s well Diane xox

  2. I think you have enough spuds to see you through the winter, and well into the spring as well. Xx

    1. Hope so as spuds are expensive here.

  3. Fab pics, everyone looking great. Now what chores are you going to give Sheryl & Brian then, did you keep some spud picking for them Tee hee xxx

    1. They've all been dug up now, so no spud picking for them. But there will be walnuts and figs.

  4. Just how many spuds do you eat...
    most of those look like bakers!!
    And I love the idea of the spud mountain...
    we couldn't do that, too many varieties...
    and, besides, the "rongeurs" would get them!!
    So ours all go into paper spud sacks!!

    1. I do like to use spuds in all sorts of ways. There are lots of varieties to choose from, so after lots of trial and error we narrowed down the ones we wanted to grow. Last year our harvest was very disappointing, so this year we planted 11kg of spuds and our guestimate is that we now have around 200 kilos. We were paying around 4€ a bag for the varieties, so well worth the initial oulay of around 20€.

    2. We grow Red Duke of York as a "first eariy".... 1 row, 10 spuds... 7kilos... enough to last until the "earlies" come on line....
      but our two maincrop spuds are Stemster and Remarka... four rows [38] of Stemster [red], two [19] of Remarka [white]....
      Remarka, a Dutch variety, are an early main and are now lifted... they yielded two kilos a spud.... and in the main, four spuds a plant!! Yes, we grow these for bakers!!
      Pauline froddled a Stemster, a "Jack Dunnet of Caithness" development, to see if they were ready.... yes! The plant she froddled around had nine spuds that she could find without destroying the roots too much. The weight a staggering 3.5 kilos... and we've another 37 [and a froddled one] of those to lift... so over 100 kilos there, potentially.
      I noticed that your neighbour's machine only harvests the big spuds...
      so how do you gather the small ones?

    3. I've never heard of froddled before, need to look that up. The little spuds do drop through the machine but they are tiny ones, so thats a job for going along the rows and picking them up by hand.


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