Harvest Break in Aroostook County has Arrived
All Aroostook County schools are out today for an In-service day but for a few districts in the area today is the first day of the harvest break. Students in Presque Isle High School, Mars Hill, and Easton are slated to return to classes on October 12. Several other school districts will be taking 1-2 week breaks at the beginning of October.
The tradition of harvest break has spanned multiple generations and is a tradition that has been slowing fading in the last 20 years. There was a time not long ago called the 90's and every school in Aroostook County was dismissed for 3 weeks. I recall several times as a teen that people I'd meet over summer at camps would be envious of the 3-week break they knew I would be getting just as they were going back to school. However, the harvest break for many was far from a break. It meant it was time to work.
Despite what "people” say, I find that there is a strong desire to work among the teens in our area. There will be many young people waking up early to head to the potato house and they won't be done work until it is the dark evening. These kids will be working hard and will become overtired. When they become tired, that is when accidents can occur. During the first days of harvest everyone is alert and on guard but over time we tend to get comfortable and lax around the equipment. Stay alert and get your rest when your day is done.
This is the time of year that our local economy is dependent on because we know the potato industry is lifeblood of Aroostook County. If you aren't working on a farm, be patient in the coming weeks on your commute. Traffic could be slow at times when equipment is being moved and you might come across a few spuds laying in the road. Enjoy the harvest and safe digging to all of the farmers!