Every year, Idaho harvests about 13 billion pounds of potatoes from 311,000 acres of mineral-rich volcanic soil. That means about 1/3 of all potatoes grown in the United States are grown in Idaho! That’s a lot of spuds!
And, believe it or not all these potatoes are harvested in just six short weeks!
It seems like an impossible feat, but the Idaho potato growers, many of whom work and live on the farms their grandparents and great grandparents established, rely on the history of the land, the practices they learned from their families and of course technology, to grow America’s favorite vegetable. During harvest, each farmer works tirelessly around the clock to make sure the potatoes are unearthed only when they are perfect in terms of size, texture and density. If they harvest too early, the potatoes will not only be small, the skins may not set properly and can easily rub off. If the farmers wait too long, the potatoes can start to spoil in the soil. And perhaps the most important and unpredictable factor the farmers face is Mother Nature. If the area experiences an unexpected early frost, or too much rain, it can greatly impact the quality of the potatoes.
Farming isn’t easy and yet it’s one of the most important careers in the world.
Every month we’ll introduce you to an Idaho Potato farmer who is committed to growing the best potatoes possible…potatoes that we can mash, hash, bake and fry!