The weather on harvest day was perfect: sunny and temps in the 70s.


Before digging up the potatoes, we cut back the foliage and allowed the tubers to cure in the ground for a couple weeks.

This spring, we started something called Company Farm. Our goal was to grow food to donate to families in need.

Well, the harvest is in, and we dug 325 pounds of potatoes from 25 4×6′ raised beds. Though the result is not as big as we’d hoped (500 pounds), we’re still quite pleased.

It was a challenging year. After planting on May 15, our crops were treated to 40 days and 40 nights of rain. Well, almost. The cold, wet weather meant that sprouting was not 100 percent. We also planted a few beds with sweet potatoes, which were decimated by deer. Lesson learned. Next time, a fence!

Harvesting potatoes

After the potatoes have cured in the ground for a week or two, Ann uses a fork to loosen the soil.

A key to our success this year was working with a mentor farmer. He helped us recognize and control pest and disease problems — such as leafhoppers — before they got out of hand.

Almost 100 percent of the work was done by volunteers in our Burlington office, who harvested the potatoes in about 2 hours. We packed the spuds into crates and wheeled the load over to the Intervale Food Hub, which happens to be next door. This group will distribute the potatoes to needy families and agencies.

More Good Works

The team at our manufacturing facility in Georgia, VT, also grew food for the hungry. These employees manufacture our line of Elevated Raised Beds, and they used them to grow 589 pounds of vegetables, despite a late start and some aggressive crows. “Next year, we might want to build a scarecrow,” said Deb Patterson, one of the employee-volunteers.

This year’s donation, accomplished with 30 hours of volunteer time, was made through the season as different crops matured. The big successes were cucumbers (446 pounds) and tomatoes (119 pounds).

Heart-shaped potato

Getting the potatoes out of the ground is best done by hand, which prevents damage to the tubers. Size and shape varies greatly, as shown by this heart-shaped spud that Chris found.