They put their hands into the rich earth – dark, moist loam which clung to the vegetables while it caked under their fingernails – and dug at the hills of firm potatoes.
They pulled the limp stalks, were satisfied when the bulky vegetables came out of the ground and rolled to a stop by their feet.
They shook the roots, loosening clods of earth and any remaining potatoes, then threw the dead plants onto a pile at the end of the row.
They scraped the excess dirt from the vegetables, placing the large ones into a barrel, and the smaller – even tiny – ones into a basket.
They wasted nothing.
They dug further with a hoe to make sure none were missed, then moved to start on the next hill.