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This Book written especially for the

“Read ME Agriculture� Volunteer Reading Project As a special gift to participating Pre-Kindergarten to Fourth grade Classrooms From F Fr rom

And the Maine Potato Board 2

Potatoes for ME


Potatoes for ME! Made possible by the State of Maine Agricultural Development Grant and funding from The Maine Potato Board and our Maine Agriculture Specialty License Plate

THANK YOU TO EVERY MAINE DRIVER THAT PROUDLY DISPLAYS THIS PLATE!

A special Thank you to the Book Committee: The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry – Jessica Nixon Maine Potato Board – Jeannie Tapley Maine Agri-Women – Judy Kenney, Nancy Wright, Dixie Delong, Val Flewelling MAITC – Christine Bozak, Janet Perry Editor – Willie Sawyer Grenier – MAITC Executive Director Photo Editor – Elaine Stedman Some photos courtesy of Paul Cyr Photography Potatoes for you!

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This is the story of the Maine potato, our state’s largest crop.

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Potatoes for ME


Most Maine potato farms are in Aroostook County at the top of our state, where the large, at ďŹ elds have the right soil and the growing season to produce the best quality potatoes.

Potatoes for you!

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Potatoes have been growing in Maine since colonial mes. For many years they were all harvested or picked by hand. The pickers ďŹ lled their baskets andcarried them to nearby barrels.

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Potatoes for ME


The barrels of potatoes were loaded on trucks and wagons and delivered to the farm for storage or to the factory for processing. All the potatoes were graded for size and quality by the potato inspector.

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Potatoes are s ll a big part of Maine culture. In the summer there are fes vals and events to celebrate. There is a Maine Potato Blossom Queen and you may even see “Spuddy� the Maine Potato Mascot!

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Potatoes for ME


Did you know that your school summer vaca on started because of farming? Children were needed at home to help grow and harvest the crops. In many northern Maine schools there is s ll a fall “harvest break� for students to help with the potato harvest.

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Potatoes grow best in cool weather, with just the right amount of sun, rain, and fer le soil. This makes Maine the perfect place to grow the best potatoes!

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Potatoes for ME


Maine potato farmers use tractors and other machinery to help them with the crop.

Potatoes for you!

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Potatoes saved from last year’s harvest are planted in the spring. Planters are loaded with potato seed and fer lizer then pulled through the ďŹ elds by big tractors!

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Potatoes for ME


The potato plants must be cul vated or “hilled� two or three mes in early summer to protect the tubers from the sun.

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Spring

Plant

Summer

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Potatoes for ME

Irrigate


Fall

Harvest

Winter

Storage

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Maine potato farmers use irriga on when nature does not provide enough rain. Farmers are careful to protect the land and enrich the soil through crop rota on to ensure healthy land for future genera ons to use.

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Potatoes for ME


Maine farmers work hard all summer long. They a end special classes to learn how to manage their potato crop. The sprayer goes through the ďŹ elds on a regular schedule to keep the potato plants healthy.

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Fall is me for the potato harvest.

Some Maine farms pick their potatoes by hand. 18

Potatoes for ME


Other farms use a mechanical harvester. A harvester is a large machine pulled by a tractor that digs the potatoes and li s them up on a conveyor belt. Potatoes for you!

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A crew of people look over the potatoes and separate them from the dirt and rocks before they move on to a large truck driving beside the harvester.

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Potatoes for ME


Potatoes are stored in large buildings called potato houses with just the right temperature, humidity and other storage condi ons.

Potatoes for you!

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The crew at the potato house must carefully transfer the potatoes from the truck. The farmers must check the crop every day while the potatoes are in storage.

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Potatoes for ME


Many Maine potatoes are sold fresh in bags. These are the potatoes your family buys at the grocery store and farm stand.

Potatoes for you!

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Maine farmers work very hard a er harvest so we can buy fresh Maine potatoes at our local stores all year long!

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Potatoes for ME


Some of the potatoes are sent to processing plants to make chips, fries, and other products. Potatoes for you!

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Potatoes are good for you. They contain Vitamin C, ďŹ ber and loads of Potassium with NO Fats!

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Potatoes for ME


Boiled or baked, mashed or roasted, potatoes are always great! Don’t forget to eat Maine potatoes to grow up healthy and strong!

Potatoes for you!

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Potatoes for You!

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Potatoes for ME!  

Potatoes for ME!  

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