Monday, October 13, 2014

The Big Glean

Every year in this area there are a number of large potato fields that are harvested. They only take the largest potatoes and leave behind the smaller ones. Many people in the area go and harvest the smaller ones left behind. As you can see from the photo, these are not tiny potatoes, they are reasonably sized for eating. My husband and I went out and it took us one hour to pick these up. I did not weigh them all but I did weigh one 5 gallon bucket full at 35 lbs. The tubs have maybe two of the pails worth in them so lets say 7 five gallon bucket pails. That is 245 lbs of potatoes! Right now, I have seen russets go for about $1.97 for 10 lbs. or .20/ lb. so that's about $49.00 of potatoes. Take out about $2 for gas and it comes to about $47.00. It took my husband and I an hour to gather these so that is about $23.50/hour. We will use these all winter long plus I will give some to my parents and other relatives/friends who want some. I keep them covered in the garage and some of them might freeze but the ones closer to the house are usually good. I will end up throwing a few out at the end of the winter no doubt.

Beyond potatoes I do think about sustainability. According to this article, it says we spend 10 energy calories producing one calorie of food.

Not only am I saving money by doing this, but I feel I am being a responsible citizen. I hate seeing this energy go to waste. These potatoes were planted, grown and harvested with oil. It makes me feel good to glean it off the land and put it to good use.


  1. How awesome! I don't think that we have farmers around here that do this, although I have heard that there are people who will go and get the glean and bring them to our area, and charge a small handling fee. This is a great way to save money!!!!

    Did you know you can dehydrate potatoes, if you have too many of them?

    1. ~simply frugalynne~October 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      No, I didn't! Not sure that I would have time to, but I will file the idea away just in case!