When I lived in Mozambique a number of years ago, I published a blog called ‘Who put your prawns on your plate?’ This series of images reminds me of that blog. It’s a series of images documenting the day the potato was planted to the day it was harvested, washed and packaged for our consumption. Not that I expect you to ask yourselves every time you tuck into a spud, what exactly happened for you to have ‘this’ crispy golden Ixopo-grown spud on your plate? But food on our plate comes at a price. The price of a spud must pay for the hours of labour that was required to pick them up, grade and pack every single potato.  A team of at least 10 women working methodically down each lane of potatoes picks up every one of them! Backs bent beneath the harsh February sun, they fill up their sacks, like pennies in a piggy bank. The price of a sack of potatoes must pay for plenty. It must pay for the long hours of labour, for the fuel of the tractors, the maintenance of the machinery, the packaging, the seed potatoes for ‘next season’s crop’, land prep, fertilizers and planting costs. And taxes! Most of that ‘sack of potatoes,’ goes to taxes! Farming does not come cheap. For a sack of potatoes, there sure is a whole lot of work required!

And here it is, the story of the humble spud, from beginning to end!

Winter planting begins…

Planting potatoes

Fertiliser application

Waiting for the fertiliser to be applied!

Planting begins!

Planting potatoes (5)
Planting the rows of potatoes

The potatoes germinate!

Planting potatoes
Dry land potatoes

None of the usual rain came in November!

Drought

Harvesting begins

Picking up each and every potato!

Pulling potatoes (1)

From small bags into big bags…

The potatoes are taken to the pack shed to be washed, graded and packaged.

Grading potatoes (16)

Washed potatoes

Grading

Packaging

The result of a few months of hard work…Loch Buighe spuds ready for sale!

Grading potatoes (9)

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