Organic Potatoes Grown Only by Hand and Horse

Our Organic La Ratte de Paris are USDA Certified Organically grown. In fact, we go way beyond the necessary steps for Organic certification—we do everything by hand! The potatoes are grown by experienced Amish growers. Their love of the land and their meticulous growing practices are the perfect fit for our potato, unlike the modern techniques which grow the potatoes on large scale, with big tractors pulling big equipment. We do it the traditional way—by hand.

Our unique method for growing La Ratte de Paris:

Preparing the Soil

This takes four years before the first La Ratte de Paris is planted. We plant Alfalfa grass using horses to plow it under after it has matured creating “green manure.” This is done for three successive years, putting back into the soil the sustainable vital nutrients and organic matter needed to build the soil to its peak productivity. By the fourth year, the soil is ready for La Ratte de Paris.

Planting the Seed Potatoes

The next step is to plant the seed potato in the soil. We are very unique in this process because each potato is planted in the soil by hand. Our growers place a seed potato every 12 inches in rows by hand and then cover it up with soil.

Hilling the Potatoes

The third step is to hill the potatoes. This is done by two horses and a man steering an inverted plow. The object is to create a mound of soil over the potatoes which protects it from insects and light rays that can cause greening and sunburn.

All weeding during the course of the growing season is also done by hand.

Harvesting the Potatoes

To harvest the La Ratte potatoes, two horses pull a plow in the form of a box with a blade that turns the potatoes up from their home in the soil. Once they are on top of the ground, the farmer follows behind and digs through the newly loosened soil to pick up all the potatoes placing them in a basket. The baskets are then transferred to larger wooden boxes and placed on wagons pulled by horses. They are taken to larger bins where they are stored until sold.

© 2013 Catherine Huston

© 2013 Catherine Huston

© 2013 Catherine Huston