Does Anyone Pick Potatoes by Hand Anymore?
So it was still dark out. I remember that. My mom came in and shook my brother and I awake. We'd go downstairs and either the radio would be tuned to whatever station Wayne Knight was on or we'd watch the "Picker's Special" on T.V. We used to curl up on the couch with a blanket and try to "hear" the words to life.
"Mahan's will not be digging today!" It rarely happened but when it did it was glorious. It meant sleeping longer and then doing whatever I wanted to do, all day. Usually nothing. But no, we usually ended up digging. This meant mom packed us a lunch, we often wore the same dirty clothes as the day before (it made no sense to wash them), and we waited for the bus.
The bus was from the '50s, painted a drab shade of red and you always knew when it was coming up over the hill because the engine would rev as high and loud as possible and when the gears were shifted it sounded like an old man with emphysema. The bus ride consisted of trading lunches, loud music and counting the hairs on Louie the bus driver's ears (Louie also drove the digger).
I have to admit picking potatoes kept me busy. I would usually end up behind because I took too big of a section (too many rows of potatoes). People would either offer to catch me up or I'd beg them. Of course they got to claim all the barrels they filled by putting their ticket on them. The farmer collected the barrels and counted up the tickets. I think we received 50 cents a barrel.
Times have changed with technology of course. I don't know any farms around that still pick potatoes. It's a shame really. Many of the world's problems were worked out in those fields. We just kept the answers to ourselves.
Do you miss picking potatoes by hand? Leave us your comments on Facebook about your potatoes picking days!