Lots of early season rain caused a slow start, but the youth farmers of the New Milford Youth Agency ultimately brought in ample potato crops at both Davenport and Harris farms on Ridge Road in New Milford.

About 2,500 pounds of the spuds were sold at the Big Y Supermarket in New Milford this fall under the brand name Ridge Road.

Mark Mankin, the Youth Agency director, reported Ridge Road potatoes were also very popular at Northville Market.

"At one point, Northville was selling 150 pounds a week," Mankin said. "We went through the potatoes quickly and harvested up to mid-October. We harvested about three tons."

Julie Bailey, an alternate member of the town's Farmland Preservation Committee, has been impresed by the youths' success.

"The kids developed the brand name," she said, "designed the sacks the potatoes were sold in and processed, cleaned and bagged the potatoes."

Davenport and Harris farms are under town preservation and management supervision via the committee.

The Youth Agency, which successfully farmed the town-owned Sullivan Farm for decades, was approached to produce the crop for a local market.

"One of our goals this year was to work with local farmers on expanding marketing changes for local New Milford-grown produce," Bailey said.

Kevin Berry, the regional produce manager for Big Y Supermarkets, said the experience of carrying Ridge Road potatoes at the New Milford store was positive.

"We do as much as we can for local farmers," Berry said, from his Massachusetts office. "The potatoes were good quality and sold well. We're all for doing this again next year. It worked out fine."

Berry said Big Y works with 40 to 50 farmers local to their stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

stuz@newstimes.com; 203-731-3352