Potato growers made an effort to take early potatoes to store shelves before the Midsummer holiday period (June 22-24). Demand has now grown to the point where early potatoes are harvested with combine harvesters.
Entrepreneur Kuido Paimla is testing potato growing in film tunnels for the third year as the Estonian people has developed a yearning to get potatoes on their plates before Jaanipäev, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Tuesday.
"Despite the cold and rainy spring, we can be pleased with our harvest and I began harvesting my crops before Midsummer," Paimla said.
Koorti Kartul, a potato growing company in Viljandi County, also took their harvesters to the fields before Midsummer. And according to board member Janek Lass, there is a lot of work with early potatoes. This also leads to the more expensive price.
"We begin pre-sprouting for early potatoes in the start of February and we must use cover veils. And a very important part is monitoring the cold weathers in the start of May," Lass explained.
"The harvest is certainly small, perhaps even very small. But there is a little emotion in there as well, trying to get potatoes before Jaanipäev. And it is important for us to take our conveyers out, because we will harvest these potatoes until September, as they are consumed," he added.
Early potatoes reached the shelves of Rimi stores a few weekdays ago. Viya Schumann, head of Rimi in the city of Türy, said the price of early potatoes in Estonia is higher than foreign potatoes, but there certainly are consumers.
"It does not matter whether the potato is domestic or from abroad for some clients. But most still prefer local produce," she said, adding that the taste of local produce matters.
While early potatoes had not reached the marketplace in Türi on Tuesday, it was sold in neighbor city Paide at 3€ per kilogram.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste