I have decided that seasons are like friends.  You can divide them into two categories; those that arrive early and those that arrive late.  This season is definitely an early one.  I have picked 2 kg of blackberries (by 8th August) and the spring barley is going through the combine as I write (9th August) with winter barley cut and already in the barn.  This photo is our foreman David harvesting on Meeting House field.


We are mainly vegetable growers here at Broxtead.  Our light sandy soil  is ideal for growing great veg that can be lifted in all weathers.  We supply all the supermarkets with red, brown, and spring onions, carrots, and potatoes. and have been lifting potatoes since 7th June.  Lorries are loaded almost every day at this time of year with the men working long hours after a 5.30am start.  Throw in a couple of breakdowns, wet weather, and a difficult growing season behind us, I admire their patience in “getting on with it”. 

These 4 photos explain the process of lifting and transporting potatoes from the field before they are collected for distribution around the country.


The potato harvester is very hi-tech with adjustable lifting shears, webs and cleaner-rollers  and a “tent” at the rear where a “gang” get rid of any rubbish that made it over the webs but doesn’t meet the produce quality standard required.  Our man-in-charge of this bit of kit is Colin who has eyes in the back of his head by way of a monitor in his cab rigged up to cameras all over the machine so he can check for blockages and get a visual connection to the pickers on the back.  The tractor drivers have to move in harmony with the harvester as the potatoes are loaded into each box on the trailer.  As they leave the conveyor arm they fall through a net system which breaks their fall so they don’t bruise.  Everything about this harvesting system has been cleverly thought through to ensure you all get great potatoes.

The harvesting season being 2 weeks earlier than normal will hopefully mean less of a panic to get next year’s crops drilled before the weather turns and 14-hour-days are just a memory.  Thank goodness for fixed calendar dates or Christmas would be 2 weeks early!

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