In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Presque Isle: The Star City

Harvesting Potatoes

(Page 13 of 13) Print Version 

MECHANIZED FARMS

The photograph on page 10 that shows two young men loading a potato truck was taken on the Myron Gartley Farm in Presque Isle in 1976, about the time Mr Gartley stopped growing potatoes. He grew about 40 acres in potatoes on a small family farm. Like most small farmers in the area at that time, he did not stay in the potato business.

Potato harvest, Presque Isle, 1982
Potato harvest, Presque Isle, 1982

Item Contributed by
Maine Historical Society

Things were changing. Farms were becoming larger and more business-like. Harvesting was becoming more automated, using more expensive equipment. About this time there were a lot of auctions in the area, selling off farm equipment no longer used.

The potato harvester in the above photograph removes potatoes from the ground through a digger lag and conveyor system. Workers make sure the potatoes and rocks are separated. A conveyors dumps the potatoes directly into a bulk body truck

No more barrels, no more baskets, no more tickets and no more picking potatoes.

SOURCES

Richard W. Judd” AROOSTOOK A Century of Logging in Northen Maine” UNIVERSIY OF MAINE PRESS, 1989

Charles Morrow Wilson “Aroostook: Our Last Frontier” Stephen Daye Press, 1937