Dave saved me a week’s worth of hot digging.
I admit that after about 10 hours of shovelling dirt to get at the potatoes last year, I wasn’t eager to plant them again. Potatoes are a lot of work. Once the seed potatoes are cut and put in the ground, and the plants have grown about a foot, they need to be hilled. From the time they sprout, they need constant observation to keep the Colorado Potato Beetles at bay. The eggs of these insects are hidden on the underside of the leaves, so every leaf has to be turned over. We check them every second or third day, and I pay the kids a nickel for each beetle, larva or clump of eggs they discover. This year we didn’t see many, thanks to the diligent work of the kids, and we stopped checking leaves about three weeks ago.
Then, thanks to Dave’s preference for having the right tools for the job, we spent just over an hour harvesting 87 pounds of potatoes that we grew from a five pound bag of seed potatoes. We still have 2/3 of the hills to harvest, but I no longer dread it.