Swedish farmer basks in latest ever potato harvest

A potato farmer in southern Sweden said on Saturday she was bringing in the country's latest potato harvest thanks to one of the mildest and driest autumns on record.

“I think it’s the latest (potato harvest) in Sweden,” Lotta Mellberg, the owner of a farm and restaurant on an island outside Stockholm, told AFP.

“We were picking them yesterday and today. Normally we plant in April and we pick them in June. So this is totally the wrong way round,” Mellberg said.

From the 400 kilos (880 pounds) of potatoes Mellberg planted in August she estimated her harvest at some 1,500 kilos. However, due to dry weather conditions and not using pesticides she estimated some 800 kilos would be fit for sale.

Mellberg also grows asparagus and rasperberries, primarily for use in her adjoining restaurant, but also in local markets, where her potatoes are sold for 150 kronor a kilo.

Sweden’s three main cities – Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmoe, all located in the south of the country – have recorded record mild average temperatures in September, October and November, according to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).