© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
Glen Jay negotiates the largest harvester in the province into another nearby field to continue the potato harvest recently in southeastern Prince Edward Island.
The potato harvest is nearing completion on Prince Edward Island as growers have been blessed with favourable weather to harvest their valuable crop.
Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, says the harvest is approximately 85 per cent complete across the Island.
“Yields are generally close to average and the quality of the crop is particularly good this year,” he said.
Donald says it takes many hands to get the potatoes out of the ground and into storage. Even with modern, labour saving harvesting equipment, potato growers across the province employ a significant number of Islanders at this busy time of the year, he said.
Many growers, like Vernon Campbell of Mull Na Beinne Farms in Grahams Road, have a core group of employees that return to work for him every harvest season.
“These hard working people are essential to our operation,” says Campbell. “I don’t know what we would do without them. Many of them return to work for us each year and their skills and knowledge help to make our harvest efficient and safe.”
The potato industry continues to a major employer and an economic engine in Prince Edward Island, employing 12 per cent of the Island labour-force directly or in spin-off employment. The potato industry in P.E.I. creates a total economic impact of $1.065 billion dollars.
Donald says the new crop of P.E.I. potatoes are already on store shelves across Atlantic Canada and will soon become more prominent in other Canadian and American markets. He said Island potato growers take pride in providing a high quality and nutritious product for consumers across North America and thank those helping to harvest the crop at this busy time of year.
For new recipe ideas on how to include P.E.I. Potatoes into family meals this fall, visit www.peipotato.com