Ward House

Po – ta – toes

Hearing that word reminds me of a scene from the Lord of the Rings when Sam is trying to explain fish and chips to Golum.

Anyway, our purple taters are ready to be dug up yet we do not have a place to store them – something we will need to rectify very, VERY soon. From what I have read, though, potatoes cannot be stored for more than a few weeks. Is this true? We will have these potatoes eaten within the next few months; however, what about storing the late potatoes through the winter? Is that not possible? How do you store potatoes for longer than a few weeks? Our quarter hand dug basement will serve as a root cellar since the temperature is consistent, it has some humidity, and is ventilated (not overly so). Any tips?

Once those hills are dug, should I plant more taters there or something else? More blue lake beans? We do eat alot of beans. Also, and interesting observation; tater bugs do not like the folage of our purple potatoes, which bloom purple flowers here.

I was called in to work at the restaurant last night and did not finish up until close to midnite – one tired puppy today. Tonite is a rinse and repeat; it’ll be another late night as someone scheduled a 14 top and two 8 tops to arrive at the same time. *sighs* The things I do for money. Oy! Enjoy your day today. It is a beautiful day in Hot Springs, VA!


June 19, 2009 - Posted by | Gardening, self sufficiency


  1. Keep them cool, not frozen and they will survive the winter. Too much humidity will get them growing eyes, however they are still edible. I can new potatoes, pull the smallest of these out for seed next year, and place my eating potatoes in a box layered with news paper. A hill of heavy mulch at least 12" thick, can also protect your potatoes, and continue to grow new ones during the winter.

    Comment by Phelan | June 19, 2009 | Reply

  2. You can new potatoes? Pressure or hot water? Do you cook them first? I will pass along the box and layers to Ronnie. I am guessing that it is a card board box?

    Comment by Annette | June 19, 2009 | Reply

  3. Good directions for canning potatoes can be found here. Canned potatoes are good for stews, potato salad, mashing or just fried up with some butter and onions. Enjoy!

    Comment by Julie | June 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. Here in zone 4 we just hilled our po-ta-toes (love that reference!). They look so good! I am a total newbie to food storage so I look forward to hearing about what works for you!kris

    Comment by hickchick | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  5. Here in zone 4 we just hilled our po-ta-toes (great reference BTW). I am a complete newbie when it comes to food storage so I will watch to see what works for you.Kris

    Comment by hickchick | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  6. In the fall when the night temps start falling, I'll open up our cellar door and the vent on the other side. Then, in the morning I close it up tight. After a couple of weeks of this the temperature inside the cellar has come down quite a bit. We start harvesting the storage crops and getting things tucked away down there then, and I keep up the night/open, day/closed routine until the nights drop below freezing. I've got a screen I put over the open cellar door to keep out critters and falling leaves. I do the same thing in the Spring to keep the temps down there cool as long as possible, using up what's left and moving things up into the refrigerator to keep a bit longer.

    Comment by Sadge | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  7. PO-TAY-TOES! 😀 *LOL*

    Comment by Lisa | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  8. Lisa, you are exactly right -that is how it is spelled! =)

    Comment by Annette | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  9. I was trying to mimic 'Sam' phonetically, not correct your spelling! 🙂 Sorry if that was unclear. I love that scene too.

    Comment by Lisa | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  10. LOL no worries. Lisa. =) I was agreeing with you on spelling is phonetically – it is exactly as Sam says it. Just said I did not think of spelling it that way sooner! =)

    Comment by Annette | June 29, 2009 | Reply

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