Potatoes and Sustainability
We have a little farm where we try to grow a good share of our produce organically, and one year we forgot to buy seed potatoes. When we realized it was well past the Good Friday planting time for many, we discovered that Earl May was nearly sold out, and we couldn’t get our favorite Yukon Gold. After a few phone calls, luckily, Larry found some at a nearby city. That was during the past recession years, and I believe the store wasn’t prepared for the new wave of gardening. It did make us think, though, about “what if” some year there weren’t any available.
If you grow your own potatoes, you know that it is difficult to have the perfect conditions to store them for an extended time, let alone until the next planting season. This is what you can do: After curing the potatoes, save the smaller ones the size of a large egg, and keep them in egg cartons in the fridge. You can save a couple dozen in case the “what if” ever happens, or if you have the room in a spare refrigerator, you can save several dozen and skip buying them the following planting season. As you know, seed potatoes are far more expensive than a regular package of vegetable seeds.
Last fall, I stored three dozen, and this spring, I took them out of the fridge two weeks before planting time to warm up and start to sprout. Because they were small, I planted most of them whole, and some I divided only once. They were a success.
This year, we want to save some Viking Red potatoes, also. They are a large potato, so I don’t have many small enough to fit into an egg carton. I’ve decided to put a few in a box, instead. It will be so rewarding not to worry about buying potatoes before the store runs out, and save money, too. I hope you give it a try!
So why did the potato cross the road?
He saw a fork up ahead!
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