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Thread: How do YOU store POTATOES for the winter.......????

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    Default How do YOU store POTATOES for the winter.......????

    I am thinking of buying 200 pounds of potatoes, and see if I can store them through most of the winter....also onions. I have a lot of straw, but very little space that is heated.


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    What about just dehydrating them?

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    Well, I buy the dehydrated hash-browns in industrial size. I don't think it would be a good use of my time, and they would still need to be stored.......somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cast-Iron View Post
    What about just dehydrating them?

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    If they are already dehydrated then it won't matter much how you store them as long as they stay dry. I thought you were talking about fresh potatoes.

    What do these hash-browns come in?

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    Rick, I am talking about fresh potatoes & onions.......


    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    If they are already dehydrated then it won't matter much how you store them as long as they stay dry. I thought you were talking about fresh potatoes.

    What do these hash-browns come in?

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    Last edited by Sourdough; 08-07-2013 at 03:35 PM.

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    Living with the proximity I have to grocery stores I do not store potatoes.

    I recall my grand parents root cellar always had sacks and sacks of potatoes in it, but I was fairly young and didn't pay too much attention other than....."go get some potatoes for supper".

    On Submarines we kept them in the dry bilges and they did well.

    Since they have a large water content, I think freezing will be your biggest challenge. Under the cabin, not tightly packed, with plenty of ventilation would work if you could insulate enough to keep from freezing.

    Is digging a root cellar out of the question? I recall you talking about the rocks when putting in your septic, but with the dozer you might be able to fashion one.

    This link may be helpful, and you could always contact them since they are in your neck of the woods. http://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/tag/storing-potatoes/
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    I don't think I've bought more than 10 fresh potatoes, or any frozen potatoe items, in the last 3 years. I'm a Japanese rice, pasta, quinoa guy. However, I do have a few 24 oz. cans of whole potatoes on hand just in case.
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    The storage area has to be above 32 degrees, you don't want them to freeze.....so you are talking about conditioning a space for them.

    Might be tough in your area.......any info locality?
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    I am now think I'll just buy about $300.00 worth of those dried hash-browns and put them in a shed to freeze. I might put them in a 55 gallon steel barrel up in the cache.

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    Was typing while Hunter posted

    SD don't know if this is any help. At least you can see the conditions they used to maintain their winter onions and potatoes. I helped grandma do potatoes in the fall. This is what I remember and am pretty solid on how she set them to storage.


    Chicago Suburbs root cellar. (sometimes below 0˚F)

    Granma and Granpa stored in their root cellar that seldom got below freezing. If it got real cold they would use 100 watt light bulbs to raise the temp a bit. The lamps were on the floor with a bucket raised up on bricks over the lamp to reduce light exposure. The cellar was well insulated North side of house in the shadows. Summer temps around 60˚F high. Winter temps 35˚F to 40˚F. If I remember they didn't worry until it got to 15˚F

    Granma's potato rules.

    1. carefully dig from potato bin They grew in a vertical bin like a compost bin. Kept adding dirt on top as they grew. Some times they left the bin as is and dug out potatoes all winter. Draw back would be critters some times found them. LEAVE DIRT ON potatoes DONT WASH. Not sure why. Granma said so.

    2. remove damaged, bruised and bad spotted potatoes use them first.
    3. After tatos were sorted they were laid out on the table in the cellar about three weeks.
    4. Sort again while rubbing extra dirt off stored in bushels and in potato drawers (an old dresser with holes all over) pretty funny looking. Potatoes were stored in straw in loose layers not packed. I think they occasionally checked for bad that were missed.

    I remember the importance of the not washing until the came into the house and the bucket lights when it dropped near freezing 35˚ in the cellar.

    Oh onions were similar but can't remember if they were cleaned or left dirty, the temp was important.

    By summer the potatoes and onions that were left were getting a bit wrinkly and shrunken but they were used if the didn't go to bad, just remove the bad spots.
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    the best way to store potatoes is in the form of vodka, no freezing or spoilage that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyt View Post
    the best way to store potatoes is in the form of vodka, no freezing or spoilage that way.
    Doesn't last too long, though.......
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    You don't store em together.
    You also have to know if the potatoes and onions are keepers. Especially the onions. Some of them will hold in storage, others won't.

    I never have much luck with potato storage so not even going there.

    With onions I dig them, then cure them outside in the shade until the outer skin and leaves are dry. I don't take the dirt off at this stage but I do later when I clean off the leaves and any crusty outer skin. Just a brush off, not a wash. I store mine in mesh bags in the cellar stairway. It's fairly dry and maintains about 50°. I grow the spanish yellow onion which holds pretty well.
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    You cannot store onions and potatoes close together as the onions will get in the potatoes eyes. Actually this was an old wives tale about you could not plant them next to each other. Pretty much what everybody said about storing potatoes. We never had much luck storing onions.

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    I think onions are supposed to be hung from the rafters in smallish bunches.

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    Default From Iowa State extension office

    It sounds like hanging in bunches would fall into the basic concept of keeping air circulation around the onions. Not sure now how granma stored onions.


    Harvesting and Storing Onions


    Many varieties of onions can be grown in the home garden.
    Note to media editors: This is the Garden Column for the week beginning July 31.

    7/27/2009
    By Richard Jauron
    Extension Horticulturalist
    Iowa State University

    Onions are a staple in the kitchen. They’re also easy to grow. If properly harvested, cured, and stored, gardeners can enjoy homegrown onions through much of fall and winter.

    Onions should be harvested when most of the tops have fallen over and begun to dry. Carefully pull or dig the bulbs with the tops attached.

    After harvesting, dry or cure the onions in a warm, dry, well-ventilated location, such as a shed or garage. Spread out the onions in a single layer on a clean, dry surface. Cure the onions for two to three weeks until the onion tops and necks are thoroughly dry and the outer bulb scales begin to rustle. After the onions are properly cured, cut off the tops about 1 inch above the bulbs. As the onions are topped, discard any that show signs of decay. Use the thick-necked bulbs as soon as possible as they don’t store well. An alternate preparation method is to leave the onion tops untrimmed and braid the dry foliage together.

    Place the cured onions in a mesh bag, old nylon stocking, wire basket, or crate. It’s important that the storage container allow air to circulate through the onions. Store the onions in a cool, moderately dry location. Storage temperatures should be 32 to 40 degrees F. The relative humidity should be 65 to 70 percent. Possible storage locations include a basement, cellar, or garage. Hang the braided onions from a rafter or ceiling. Since the temperature in an unheated garage may fall well below 32 degrees F, an alternate storage site will be needed when bitterly cold weather arrives.

    The storage life of onions is determined by the variety and storage conditions. When properly stored, good keepers, such as Copra and Sweet Sandwich, can be successfully stored for several months. Poor keepers, such as Walla Walla and Sweet Spanish, can only be stored for a few weeks. If the storage temperatures are too warm, the onions may sprout. Rotting may be a problem in damp locations. Inspect the stored onions on a regular basis in fall and winter. Discard any that are starting to rot.

    On a cold, snowy day, it’s nice to be able to go to the basement or cellar and grab an onion and prepare a pot of stew or chili. That and numerous other culinary delights are possible when onions are harvested and stored properly.

    -30-
    Karl

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