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The wash and pack facility at the Farm Hub is where vegetables are prepped for storage and food distribution. In October members of our production team could be found there washing potatoes after the vegetables were harvested. Meet Esmeralda Tiul Cac, shown in this photo. Originally from Guatemala, Esmeralda worked in the food industry before joining the production team at the Farm Hub in the spring.

In One Image: Washing Potatoes

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Interview provided by Esmeralda Tiul Cac
Photo by Richard A. Smith 

Every time when we go to the `Wash and Pack’ we wash different vegetables and, on that day, we were washing potatoes. The first step is to prepare the machine and to bring the bins of potatoes to the machine and to place it where you can lift up the bin so you can pull down the potatoes (from the bin) to the moving line. Then you spray water to remove the mud. As the person laying down the potatoes, you must make everything even on the moving line so it makes it easier for the next person to wash and spray the potatoes and so the mud comes off easier. In this photo I am holding a shovel.  We use the shovel to help pull the potatoes down to the moving line, and the machine has a little button on the right side to pull down the bin so the potatoes come out. It’s exciting to see the whole process of washing potatoes — to learn how to put the bins on the machine and to lift the bins up and down. Before starting to work here I did not know that there are so many steps to cleaning potatoes – I just went to the store and bought potatoes, but I didn’t know how they are cleaned, harvested or how they are planted. Seeing all the work that goes into it has made me realize that everything has a process and even it is a small thing we must value it. 

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