Reaping the harvest

Earth Apple Farm has changed significantly with each month of production.  From  straight, parallel trenches; to small, budding potato plants; to magnificent mounds of large green overflowing plants baring white, purple and pink flowers and berries; and now—it looks like a clear cut with only remnants of yellow and brown leaves falling over the once spectacular, but now weathered mounds.

Chitting seed potatoes in trays
Wee potato plant
Wireworms hate mustard!

                       The plants were trimmed down significantly almost two weeks ago, leading them to a slow death.  This prevents any further growth of the tubers and also allows their skin to toughen a little, which is better for storage.  Ideally you have warm, dry weather during this process (crossing my fingers for several weeks and holding my breath has apparently paid off).

Alaina hilling
Magnificent mounds
Measuring drip tape
Irrigation installed!






The process is all quite logical, however I must admit it was a little heart-wrenching to see these giant, healthy green plants that we’ve been tending to hand and foot, encouraging growth for several months, now fall and wither at our very same hand and foot.  We used a weed-wacker—so ruthless!

Giant green potato plants
Potato plants shaved down
Dana pulling potatoes
Off to market!






It seems silly to feel this way, as the main point of all this hard work was to reap the harvest, the fruits of our labour, to share as many earth apples as possible with our community.  They’re just plants afterall…right?

There is always a little part of me, a faint cry, that emerges every time I cut down a sunflower, accidentally step on a vine of my squash plant, or watch the potato plants be torn to pieces.  It kind of goes into the same category, but different Kingdom, as squishing aphids between my fingers.  I feel hardened.  Yes, perhaps its ridiculous and I’m sure most experienced farmers would be laughing hysterically at me right now, or else cocking their heads with a look of concern or bewilderment on their faces.

At the end of the day, I sleep just fine.  However, I have put some thought into it, trying to understand why I feel a little sadness.  Perhaps it is more about the season and it coming to an end, or perhaps it is because I feel like these plants have some intrinsic value—their worth exists beyond what they have to offer my human friends and I.  Therefore they deserve some respect when consumed.  Plants give us life.

The feeling of loss has mostly passed and it its place there is jittery, excitement for the uncovering of all these beautiful red, yellow and blue pommes de terre…french fries, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, and much much more!

This weekend, there are around 20 volunteers heading to the field where Earth Apple Farm sunk its roots to help in the harvest.  I can’t wait!

I’d like to extend my appreciation to those who have supported me and the making of Earth Apple Farm.  Thank you: Farmstart, Ripple Farm, Simple Roots, True Leaf, fellow farmers, members, friends, colleagues, volunteers, the Ecodairy, my Mom (and her stories of Nanny), Bro, Ying and especially Greg, my love, I couldn’t have done it without you and I can’t thank you enough (xo), and last but certainly not least, the earth, the sun, the air, the water and the plants!

If you are purchasing a big bundle of potatoes, make sure to check out the “Storage” page and feel free to email me with any questions.  Also, for recipe ideas don’t forget to check out the “Recipes” page.  I’m always looking for new ideas myself, so please send them my way to share on the blog:  earthapplefarm (at)

Merci beaucoup et bon appetit!

Fruits of Our Labour

Leave a Reply