IMG_1666IMG_1668IMG_1673IMG_1639IMG_1669IMG_1641 We grow a total of 3.5 acres of potatoes and sweet potatoes. We grow many varieties which we harvest through the season. Jose and I have been looking around for a good digger to help us get them out of the ground without damaging them. I have been asking fellow farmers for advice. They all have some reservations about their make of digger. When I was at the Asilomar Conference two weeks Lorraine and I were very kin      dly invited out to dinner with Tom Wiley from T & D Wiley Produce in Madera, California. Tom has a digger built in 1940 which he loves but it is not made now, the company does not exist. Over the years Tom has had the unit strengthened and the wearable parts repaired. Last Thursday Tom called and told me Friday was the last day they were using the digger and if I wanted to see it working, come on down. I took off for Madera at 4am and was drinking coffee with Tom at 7.30am. It is perfect for us. I took some video and many photos for Jose to see. I am hoping we can find a used one, but if not available, Tom’s welder will make us a copy. While I was there I picked up 2,000lb. of red potatoes dug just the day before on their farm for your boxes this week. Tom planted them in September last year. They are a difficult crop as they can rot easily in the warm summer soils with too much moisture.  The yield is about half that of a spring planted crop, but fresh dug potatoes are so much better that those soft one’s from storage that were picked last Summer. We are hoping to have our own digger by May. It will save us time at a very busy time of the year when we have much to much work to do.