The huge fields of potatoes have now been sprayed several times to desiccate the green haulms above ground and then the crop has been left for a week or so for the skins to set on the potatoes. Now that the weather is drier and the moisture in the ground has dropped the heavy potato harvesting machinery will arrive soon.
A couple of days later and the heavy equipment has arrived and the harvest is now in full swing, I suspect that the machinery will be going for a couple more days yet too. The mighty red machine harvests two rows at a time and the rows are one metre apart, that beats using a garden fork.
The sheer scale of the machinery never ceases to amaze me; the potato harvester weighs sixteen tons, starts the day with a ton of diesel on board and can carry around eight tons of potatoes before transferring the crop to a tractor and trailer which then waits for a second load to be added before going to the cool store, a potato perpetual motion with five tractors and trailers continually on the move.
The process is slower than a combining but the weights are greater so I would estimate that two more days are need to clear the fields.
That is one hell of a lot of crisps, chips or roast potatoes.