In my Aroostook County hometown, students grades 9-12 returned to school last week (August 16). The summer start is so teenagers can go on break to help with the potato harvest: 10 school days, or effectively two full weeks, starting at the end of classes on September 22. During my growing up years, all the schoolkids had recess to help bring in the crop.
Confession: I hated picking potatoes, which perhaps explains the traditional basket kept as souvenir. A picker would fill one with spuds pulled from unearthed vines and then lug them to a barrel and dump in the load.