A little girl poses in one of many potato barrels, which will soon be filled with the County's annual potato harvest, in this early 1980s BDN file photo. Credit: BDN file photo

This week and next week, people of all ages in Aroostook County are getting their hands dirty — the annual potato harvest has begun.

For generations, the harvest has been an all-hands-on-deck effort to dig up all the potatoes patiently grown by County farmers. Whether by hand or by mechanical means, it remains a major part of the County’s economic backbone — so much so that high school students in some districts each year are granted a few weeks off in order to help out.

We’ve gone through our archive and found some classic Bangor Daily News photos of the harvest throughout all its stages — picking, processing, bagging and then shipping them off.

Did you harvest potatoes as a kid? Leave your stories in the comments.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.