‘The backbone of the business was the potato’ : Buzz Harvey to sell iconic farm in Maugerville

MAUGERVILLE, N.B. – It’s the end of an era for the home of the biggest potato in the world.

“I just hope it goes to somebody who is going to continue the business is all,” said Buzz Harvey.

Harvey’s Big Potato Farm in Maugerville has been in Buzz Harvey’s family for three generations. The farm was purchased by his grandfather, J.H. Harvey, in 1921. Buzz says he grew up working at the family vegetable stand as a boy.

“I was probably born under a cabbage leaf,” he said. “I don’t remember not being here.”

He says it won’t be easy to let it go. Looking back at old pictures with his wife, Lynn, inside the hollowed out vegetable stand, Buzz says it will be tough to give up the family homestead after 94 years.

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His wife, Lynn says their two boys, who now work out west, never really took to farming.

“Neither one of them are farmers. It’s got to be in your blood,” she said.

Like Buzz’s father, Karl Harvey, whose life was rooted on the farm. Buzz says it was Karl who came up with the ingenious idea to build the towering tater in 1968.

So he had one built, 20 feet tall and 3 feet thick of concrete. From day one, Buzz says, that giant spud had instant appeal.

“He doubled our business within three to four years pretty well. There would be line-ups sometimes. you know waiting for somebody to get down and get out front and take their picture.”

Lynn laughs and says if they had a dollar for every person who took a picture with Big Potato Man over the years:

“We wouldn’t have to sell the farm would we?”

Big Potato Man is so firmly rooted in the ground and in history here, it has become like a monument to Buzz’s dad, who passed away about 20 years ago.

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“When he went, half of me went with him,” he said.

“He lost his father, he lost his best friend and had to do it all himself basically,” said Lynn.

Which is why, at 62, it’s time for Buzz to say goodbye to the family farm and to Big Potato Man, a choice that was anything but small potatoes.

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