Thursday, October 23, 2014

The End

Before you start digging, you'll need some place to put your harvest because you won't be putting it away right off. I recommend you build a large wooden box in a warm, dry corner of your house. Yeah, I know. This will be a dirty project. If you planted the full three rows, it is possible you might have a couple hundred pounds of potatoes.

If not this week then one day real soon, frost will knock the potato plants down and then it will be time to bring your crop in. Don't feel too guilty about leaving the smallest potatoes out there. Even what with spring row preparations, you will be pleasantly surprised at how many will come up next year. However, don't count on these leave-behinds to be enough to make your next crop. Always plan to plant full rows every year. These extras are just bonus.

After you've brought your potatoes in. Don't plan to do anything else with them for several days. They need to harden a might before they can endure much handling. During this time, you'll have to decide what you are going to do with them. Once again, a cold room or root cellar would be nice. My option is to can them.

In the mean time, go back out there and take a look at your garden. It's all done. Nothing else to do there. You are ready for winter to settle in. Now is the time to reflect on your summer bounty. What was too much? What wasn't enough? What wasn't so popular? From this information, you'll want to adjust your seed purchase and how many of those little six-packs you want to plant. Oh, and by the way, in case you like to buy those flats and things every year, I hope you saved them. They hold up just fine for a long time; they're plastic, after all. So just replace the ones that break. Cheaper that way.

I have canned potatoes with some success. Keep some for fresh use. Plan your canning for things like stews and pot roasts and other such dishes. I've also just heated them for mashed potatoes. To that end, it might not be a bad idea to have some canned up in pint jars and some in quart jars - maybe 2/3 pint and 1/3 quart.

  • Wash, peal, and cut up however you like (I don't recommend whole unless they are small)
  • Add 1t salt per quart to the water you will add to the jars. This will prevent darkening.
  • Fill jars to within 1 inch of the top
Cook pints for 35 minutes at 10 pounds
Cook quarts for 40 minutes at 10 pounds
> Always follow the directions for your canner.

I have added onions to the potatoes, but I will not do this again. It was okay but I wasn't impressed.

So how does it feel? 
All done until next year
The best preserving book I've ever seen

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