Klamath Basin potato harvest

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. – It’s a busy time of year at Wong Potatoes north of Merrill.

Dan Chin has been in the potato business for a long time. “This is probably our 48th crop of potatoes for me,” Chin said. “Our family’s been growing potatoes in the Klamath Basin for 90 years.”

While some potatoes are processed or used for chips, the spuds from Wongs are “eating potatoes.”

“You bake them, you cook with them, you roast them, mash them,” explained Ron Settlemire of Wong Potatoes. “Christmas potato type stuff. Turkey, stuffed potatoes, all that fun stuff.”

Chin said a wet winter helped set the stage for a good harvest. “Good quality, good size. We’re hoping to make a little money this year.”

The potatoes are now being bagged and boxed for distribution.

“We ship across the United States, East Coast.” Chin said.

“All over the world, pretty much,” added Settlemire. “A lot of them stay here we send things to Canada.”

“We do send some potatoes over to the Pacific Rim countries,” Chin said. “I know in the past, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong.”

Chin said the market is constantly changing. “They’re not buying the 20-pound bags, and big Russets anymore. They like the specialties: reds, yellows, fingerlings.”

But while consumer tastes may change, Chin believes some things remain the same. “Kind of grew up as a potato rat and I guess I still am a potato rat.”

You’ll find more online at:  wongpotatoes.com

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