Harvesting Potatoes With Horsedrawn Plow in Romania
Weather and soil conditions in Bucovina are favorable for planting potato crops. Potato growing is very important and common in this region, where they are a staple food. They are easy to store and grow well there. They are planted in long ridges, buried in piles of soil, above the ground. The plants are not planted too deeply, only at a few inches in depth, which makes harvesting potatoes with horsedrawn plow much easier.
Having to deal with the sloped soil and the long distance between each ridge makes weeding very complicated unless it is performed with special machinery, such as a horse-drawn hoe. Hoeing pulls out weeds from between lines of plants and lefts them on the surface to die. Back in 2017, I wrote a post about horse hoeing, with a short demonstration video. If you haven’t read it yet, open it in a new tab to enjoy reading first.
Harvesting potatoes planted in long ridges is easy because the ridge is above the ground and the soil is loose. The best time to harvest potatoes is on a dry day At this stage, farmers use a plow to scoop up, pull the potatoes up and leave them on top of the ground. The plow has a similar mechanism as the horsedrawn hoe. This tool makes turning the soil almost effortless because it uses animal power. A horse is hitched up to pull the plow, while the farmer holds the handles. The plow has a chisel that turns over the upper layer of the soil, brings potatoes to the surface and keeps the spuds from being buried.
The entire field is done this way. Once the potatoes are dug, the farmers manually harvest the potatoes that the plow has dug up, sorting, brushing off the excess soil, and transferring them to the horse-drawn cart.
Location: Village of Ialsovăț, Suceava County, Romania.
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