UW-Madison Rhinelander Agriculture Research Station (RARS) hosted a “Night on the Farm” event on Thursday, October 5 to gather potatoes for local food pantries. Scattered showers and a bout of hail did not stop the dedicated volunteers from gathering over 12,000 pounds of potatoes by hand. Colorful spuds emerged from the dirt, including russet, red, yellow, and round white varieties. The entire field was picked clean in record time, allowing for volunteers to enjoy some tasty treats donated by our sponsors.
The local grocery store, Trigs, served up chili, hot dogs, and caramel apples, while the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry created a dish using potato varieties developed at RARS. The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) also contributed by donating boxes of individual sized bags of potato chips made from Wisconsin-grown potatoes.
Rhinelander ARS has been the primary field site supporting potato breeding and variety development for the UW system since the 1940s.
Covid prevented this event from being held the past few years, so this harvest event was a welcome return to a long-standing fall tradition here at RARS!