Monday, January 21

Pitiful Potatoes

Some people can grow corn without even thinking about it. They just put in the seed and soon they have golden ears of summer sweetness. Some people can get the perfect tomato. No heat cracks, no bug holes, perfect and uniform coloring. I can not do either of these. My attempts to grow corn for the past few years have failed miserably - to the point where I think there is a corn seed thief in our neighborhood. And my tomatoes, although plentiful, are not the perfect specimens I wish them to be.

But I can grow potatoes. Slice the seed ones, dig a trench, throw them in, cover them up, and later I will be digging for gold.

Potatoes are my fool-proof crop. The crop that makes me think that I am not such a bad gardener after all. This past summer, the little man and I planted two long rows of yellow potatoes. We harvested them into a big black plastic laundry basket and dragged them up to the house. But then we had to store them.

Now, all the homesteaders who read this can get a good laugh.

No matter how hard I try I can not store a potato. I can put a perfectly good, clean, blemish-free potato away under what the internet says are idea storage conditions, and when I go to get a potato out a month later, I have soft, wrinkled up potatoes with green sprouts erupting from them in all directions.

So, I need some help. I will tell you my most recent storage attempt and please, please, please tell me what I am doing wrong.

I followed the instructions on How to Store Potatoes. I made sure they were all clean and not damaged. I placed them to dry in a semi-dark place (my pantry). I checked them after the right amount of time had passed and got rid of any that did not look right. I used a big woven basket for storage - air could get through but hardly any light. I placed each layer in between a layer of newspaper and then put the basket in the pantry.

I did not do anything that would have made them rebel against me (I don;t think).


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