GERING — Each year during Harvest Festival, people are invited to the Legacy of the Plains Museum to celebrate and harvest potatoes. However, there’s still harvesting to be done after the festival.
“We plant about three acres of potatoes each year,” Larry Hubbard said. “Normally, we only harvest about half of them during those two days.”
On Thursday, a group of volunteers set out to work to finish up the potato harvest.
“We’re about 75 percent done,” Hubbard said.
The men utilized equipment that was in service in the 1940s and 50s, including a 40s model McCormick Farmall tractor and a Lockwood grader that was used in the mid-50s.
According to Hubbard, the process takes a six-man crew. One person drives the truck, one drives the harvester and four others hang onto the back of it to pull out clumps as potatoes move across the belt.
After the potatoes are pulled from the ground, they’re dumped into a Lockwood potato box on the back of a classic pickup truck.
“The box is actually shorter than a regular Lockwood potato box,” Hubbard said.
He explained that it had to be cut down by about three feet to fit on the short-axle truck.
From there the potatoes were dumped into a sorter and bagged. Those bags are then given to people who’ve helped Legacy of the Plains by donating items and equipment to the museum.