Searching for Potatoes in a Stubble Field


“Searching for potatoes is one of the occupations of those who cannot obtain out-door relief. It is gleaning in a potato-field– and how few are left after the potatoes are dug, must be known to every one who has ever seen the field cleared. What the people were digging and hunting for, like dogs after truffles, I could not imagine, till I went into the field, and then I found them patiently turning over the whole ground, in the hopes of finding the few potatoes the owner might have overlooked. Gleaning in a potato-field seems something like shearing hogs, but it is the only means by which the gleaners could hope to get a meal.”

Illustrated London News, December 22, 1849