After 4 months, the Kennebecs have finally been explored ( read dug up ). Got around 3 new potatoes per seed. This is my first year of trying spuds. How can I keep these things long term? Anyone know how to can these things?
Why in particular would you want to can them?
I want to eat them several months down the road from harvesting them. It is nice when you can enjoy garden produce in the middle of winter.
East TN is a similar climate to where I am, and I store them no problem in a hole in the ground. The best thing is to leave them in the hills until cold weather - during the summer there isn't any place they will store better. If there are any you haven't dug yet just leave them.
Poatoes store well for months in a cool, dark place if they're properly cured to harden the skins. People say not to, but I also store them in a refrigerator set to be around 40 degrees, not near freezing.
Canning them greatly limits the cooking possibilities.
I actually can some of my potatoes. You do need a pressure canner. I will provide a link below for info on how to.
First, I can what comes up from my early spring planting so I don't have anywhere climate controlled to store through the hot humid summer. Second, canned potatoes are fantastic for some things - quick home fries on mornings when we want a weekend breakfast but don't have a ton of time for one and my mom's corn chowder recipe in the middle of winter for another. Just these two alone make the day of peeling, chopping, and processing completely worth it for me.
Here is a link that might be useful: Canning potatoes
So how does canning them limit what you can do with them?
Just dug up one small row. The rest are in the ground.
I was wondering, would I still have time to get another crop in the ground and harvest it later?
Thanks to the poster who put up a link on how to can them! :) Have bookmarked that link.
You couldn't bake them or french fry them.
I store my potatoes in a garbage can buried horizontally into a slope, mostly because I have to get them in early because of voles.
A friend with no voles in SW VA puts a tarp on the ground in a shady spot in the woods, piles the potatoes on, then tops it with another tarp and some old blankets. Every couple of weeks he takes a bucket and gets potatoes, then covers them back up. He grows all Kennebecs, says they store just fine this way.
I agree, you definitely can not bake or fry the canned potatoes, they are for a different purpose. Just had some home fries for breakfast from canned potatoes, they were very good and super quick. Of course I am a mother of a 2 and a 3 year old so sometimes super quick is a huge benefit in our house and may not be in everyone else's house.
I don't can all our potatoes, and we do two crops, one in spring and one for fall. So we keep baking and frying potatoes also. Our fall potatoes I do more for storage and will store in a mound in the garden through winter. In the summer I am using that space and don't have that ability. I realize that canning potatoes isn't for everyone, but canned potatoes serve a purpose that works very well for some depending on your cooking style and your family's favorite recipes. To each his own. So @Hobbiest, try some, you may find out it is not worth the bother for you or you may find it is a huge time saver and a great use of your potatoes.
FWIW, we only grew russets this year. We slice them up and freeze them for french fries all winter. Man are they good!! They are still in the tubs growing, but I plan to post a photo when we dig them. Had an 8"er last year.
I'm keeping my russets in the ground until frost if I can, hoping they'll keep growing to baking size.
I can potatoes also. Rinse 'em off, then fry, or mash, or simply heat with butter (I love duck fat melted on potatoes), or toss in a salad. If you have leftover cooked meat, you can make a quick hash. Canned potatoes are wonderfully handy.
My russets are also staying in the ground as long as possible. Actually, I have one container that will be 6 months old in 2 weeks, and 2 other containers that will be 5 months old this week. I keep watering and they keep growing......I almost wish they would die so I can dig 'em. The container soil settled and compacted alot over the season, and I kept filling it with new soil. Now it's hard to water them without uncovering a potato. They're growing at the bottom, and on top.
We harvest in September and keep in cool storage in the basement until February at least, longer if they cured really well. (In-ground storage isn't an option for us.) My elderly neighbour does the same, but she must have really ideal conditions, because hers are in good enough shape to re-plant in May (not generally advised, but it works for her obviously). I definitely wouldn't can a whole crop, just enough to last from when the storage potatoes run out to when you can start snitching new little potatoes the next season. Personally, since we have Saskatchewan-grown, potatoes available year-round in our grocery store, we would rather purchase those than eat canned ones for that in-between time.