October 15, 2019
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A new potato harvest season has arrived in Aroostook County — but let’s appreciate the past, too

BDN file photo | BDN
BDN file photo | BDN
A little girl poses in one of many potato barrels, which will soon be filled with the County's annual potato harvest, in this early 1980s BDN file photo.

This week and next week, people of all ages in Aroostook County are getting their hands dirty — the annual potato harvest has begun.

For generations, the harvest has been an all-hands-on-deck effort to dig up all the potatoes patiently grown by County farmers. Whether by hand or by mechanical means, it remains a major part of the County’s economic backbone — so much so that high school students in some districts each year are granted a few weeks off in order to help out.

We’ve gone through our archive and found some classic Bangor Daily News photos of the harvest throughout all its stages — picking, processing, bagging and then shipping them off.

Did you harvest potatoes as a kid? Leave your stories in the comments.

Hilary Weaver | BDN
Hilary Weaver | BDN

BDN file photo | BDN
BDN file photo | BDN
A worker ensures potatoes freshly harvested from County fields are safely processed.

BDN file photo | BDN
BDN file photo | BDN
Bags of Aroostook County potatoes are ready to be shipped off around the country.

Hilary Weaver | BDN
Hilary Weaver | BDN

BDN file photo | BDN
BDN file photo | BDN
Former Gov. John McKernan poses with the Maine Potato Board's mascot, in this undated 1980s photo.

BDN file photo | BDN
BDN file photo | BDN
A County high schooler picks potatoes during the annual potato harvest break, during which several school districts allow teens to take a few weeks off to help harvest potatoes.

Hilary Weaver | BDN
Hilary Weaver | BDN
Jennifer, center, and Jeremy Smith, right, were hand picking potatoes on the Jewell farm as children's book illustrator, Ralph Masiello, left, found a new experience for himself.

File photo/1993



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