Although a bit on the small side, the russets had hardened off to perfection and I was able to recover about a bushel. I say “recover” because I wasn’t the first to take advantage of the crop.
As always, I started my harvest at the end of the row, furthest away from the gate to the paddock. That way, as I work down the row and fill my bucket, I have a shorter distance to the storage shed where I will shelf the forty or so pounds of spuds that the bucket will hold. There was a small cave-in at the beginning of the row. Underneath, a gopher tunnel.
It was a small tunnel, maybe an inch and a half in diameter. Just a baby. The damage was minimal, maybe one or two potatoes chewed on per mound. Yet, as I continued down the row, the tunnel grew in girth, and the number of chewed potatoes increased. The last mound in the russet section had not a single potato on it.
The next variety in the row was a French fingerling. The tunnel ended here. I looked around and soon discovered a small cave-in on the adjacent row, in the Austrian Crescent fingerlings. After a little digging, I determined that the damage in that row was not too bad. In that they are not quite ready to pick, I will hope that the gopher discovers the row of over-matured lettuce, or even the Jerusalem artichokes and leave us our winter stores.
And heaven help it if I see the bastard.