I came across this old 1955 video* of potato harvesting in the Grand Falls region of Victoria County, New Brunswick. It looks like things hadn't changed so much since the 1930s and 1940s--not so long after my mother would have taken part in the harvests in Beaconsfield, just a 40 minute drive by car today.
Here is a comment on this YouTube video: I remember my grandfather working like this. All the neighbouring families came to help harvest, and then helped the next neighbour, and so on.
Hard work. Bending over all day. I remember very sore backs, and very dry hands.
For contrast, here is a more modern approach to potato harvesting, this time just across the border in Aroostook County, Maine, where the Crabtree family also lived.
* Thanks to Wayne DeLong of the Facebook group, Carleton County Genealogy and Family Trees, for sharing the first video.