Hello from sugar beet country! Hubs and I have made the 200-mile journey back to his homeland (the NE corner of North Dakota) for a few days of sugar beet harvest. He’s hauling beets and I alternate between being the photographer & his copilot.
His family grows sugar beets for Crystal Sugar – chances are, you’ve got some in your cupboard! This is where it comes from and here are some of the people who grow it!
Alert: the newest little sugar beet farmer in the family has made the blog too, and he’s tooooo cute to miss.
It’s the first day of beet harvest, and the piler (where they take the beets) opens at 8. We start around 7:15 – just a few minutes before sunrise!
My dad-in-law and Paul, waiting for the rest of the crew to get their trucks ready.
And they’re off, just as the sun comes up over the trees.
Sugar beets have big, leafy tops on them. When it’s time to harvest, a machine (called a roto-beater) comes along and shreds the tops.
So then they look something like this, just the beets sticking out of the ground.
Then the beet lifter comes along, and picks the beets up out of the ground with large disks, feeds them into a rotating wheel that tosses the dirt off of them, and then unloads the beets into a truck driving along side of it.
The beet lifter doesn’t have a big hopper like a combine does, so it pretty much always needs to have a truck right beside it to unload the beets into.
There are 7 or 8 trucks this morning constantly circling from the field to the beet piler, where they unload the beets into gigantic piles, to be picked up by Crystal Sugar later.
Got a little carried away on the sunrise photos – but it was just too pretty to pass up!
Driving alongside the beat lifter with Garret.
While we’re here, I took some photos of the newest addition to the farm – Maclin!
After the sun went down, I jumped back in the truck and hauled beets with Garret til midnight! Gosh, I love harvest time. 🙂
Next stop, my homeland, Illinois!