Potatoes and Rocks on Long Island

The Rock who Tried to be a Potato

Potatoes and a Rock

When you hand harvest potatoes in Eastern Long Island you soon learn that the sandy earth coats the stones which also inhabit the earth there so thoroughly that, before washing, the two entities are often virtually indistinguishable. Their weight difference is the only clue sometimes. If you harvest one by mistake, when you drop them into the colander, you will know by the clunk what has happened.

Potato harvesting machines with conveyor belts bring the potatoes up to a platform where there may be one or more people whose dedicated job it is to ride atop the machine to pick out the rock imitating potatoes as they come up the belt. These are returned to nearby earth along with roots and earth debris to sustain the soil texture and minerals for the future. If you would like to see how this works, this video shows how it takes fast hands and sharp eyes.

The rocks of Long Island themselves are sometimes referred to as ‘potatoes’ by the local masons because rolling around for eons in the sandy earth of Long Island has made many of them into potato like forms, in plus sizes as well as the medium and small vegetable sized ones. Being so very rounded, the local stones are not easy to build with, as you can find out for yourself by trying to build a wall with potatoes sometime.

Ellen Cool



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  • By Goozle Zone on September 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Online Article…

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