Before the recent deluges, we took advantage of a brief dry spell and the offer of help from a close neighbour, and lifted one third of our potatoes from the Maincrop Field. Because our gateways are small, only small old machines can fit onto the farm, so Howard brought his two-row-elevator along, squeezed past the chicken fencing, and lifted the Charlotte potatoes for us.
Howard lifting potatoes.
Thankfully these potatoes have a lot less eel-worm damage than those we had dug by hand from around the perimeter of the field, making sorting and packing a more pleasant task. Unfortunately though, the amount of grass that had grown over the potato field still made the potatoes difficult to find even having been lifted, because the turf fell back on top to cover them up again - but it was still several times faster than digging by hand.
Potatoes lifted and awaiting collection.
We have stored the potatoes in the cow shed, surrounded by a wall of hay bales and covered over by hessian sacks, to allow them to breathe whilst keeping out the daylight so they don't turn green. Potatoes are always available in the stall at the farm gate, for £1 per kilo, and of course are a basic component in our weekly veg-boxes.