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Beet Harvest Day 10 – The Heart of the Harvest

Beet Harvest Day 10 – The Heart of the Harvest

Morning Conditions:

🌡️ Temperature: 41 degrees F

☀️ Weather: Sunny, Very Few Clouds

💨 Wind: 10 – 15 mph

We Get an Extra Crew Member Today!

We’ve worked the last 5 days with a crew of 4: one pile operator and 3 ground crew. We chose a break cycle that allowed one person to be on break most of the shift.

At the beginning, our foreman said to make our own break schedules. His two rules being that the breaks were reasonable and fair (everyone got the same amount of break time).

However, when it’s busy, it is harder to run both sides of the piler with only 2 people on the ground. Totally doable, but more work.

Today, we have an extra person, so we’re trying a new break schedule. Already, our piler area is cleaner having a 3rd person on the ground at a time floating and scraping up excess dirt and beet parts.

The Beet Harvest Rhythm

Four sugar beet piles out the front windshielf of a van.
From Left to Right, Piles 8, 7, 6, & 5.

With an extra person (who we really like) we learned how other pile crews have chosen to work things through.

There is an overall similarity, but because each piler is “unique” as they like to say, each crew develops a slightly different rhythm.

Our newest crew member has given us new insights into how two other crews have managed thus far. One of which is to let the truckers position themselves under the dirt return. I feel pretty confident that 2/3 of the truckers that come to us can do that. But, the other third…not so much. 🤷‍♀️ Some drivers are definitely more skilled than others.

We Get a Lunch Break Together

With an extra person, we decided to do 2 people off at a time for 45 minute lunch breaks. We took the early lunch and Karma is cheffing it up while I write this blog.

Normally, we haven’t had enough people to do this. A 45-minute break allows you to do just a little bit more and actually relax. These 12-hour shifts are long, so it’s nice when we occasionally get a longer break.

Heart of the Harvest: Finding the Red Sugar Beets

Heart of the harvest: the red sugar beets.
Two Red Sugar Beets the Size of My Head!

Most sugar beets are an off-white yellowy color. But occasionally, you find a bright red sugar beet.

I’ve been told by two different foreman that the red sugar beet is considered the heart of the harvest.

We found a few red beets in first few slow days, but nothing like what we found today. Several trucks came in with Sugar Beet Mafia stickers on their trucks and sported quite the array of red sugar beets!

Between our ground crew of four people, we found 13. Fitting as today is Friday the 13th. 👻

Two of the red sugar beets that I found were bigger than my head! The heart of the harvest must be pretty large!

Yesterday, a friend found one that was bigger than his hard hat. 🤯

Evening Conditions:


🌡️ Temperature: 50 Degrees F

☁️ Weather: Cloudy, Overcast

💨 Wind: 10 – 20 mph

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