Here’s What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: August

Here’s What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: August

I love fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables. To me, there’s nothing better than eating delicious home grown produce. I love growing my own produce in my garden, but I know that’s not an option for everyone.

While I was in college and living in an apartment, I thought eating locally would be tricky, if not impossible because I couldn’t grown my own food. I craved the yummy, home grown produce I was used to having from my parents massive garden.

That’s when I discovered farmer’s markets and I’m telling you I’ll never go back to eating produce from the grocery store! Buying fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market supports local farmers, and it tastes AMAZING!

I loved shopping at the farmer’s market in college (and I still do!) but sometimes shopping there can be a bit different from shopping at the grocery store. In the society we live in today, many of us are used to having whatever produce we want no matter the season. But it’s not that way at the farmer’s market.

When you shop at the farmer’s market you have to eat foods that are in season locally because that’s all your local farmers are growing!! While it can be a bit of an adjustment to eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, trust me you will grow to love it! When you’re eating produce seasonally it tastes amazing and it’s fresh! Trust me, grocery store corn on the cob has NOTHING on fresh corn on the cob.

One of my favorite parts about eating seasonally is getting to try out new fruits and vegetables. I love experimenting with new recipes and learning how to cook different types of produce!

When I realized how many people don’t understand produce seasonality, I decided that I would write a monthly blog post to give a general idea of what produce is in season that month. Now obviously this will vary depending on where you live, you Californians can probably get pretty much any produce you want, but if you’re living in Michigan your local produce options could be slim depending on the season.

So keep in mind that this is a general guide. If you want to know exactly what produce is in season in your area check out one of my favorite websites called The Seasonal Food Guide. All you have to do is put in where you live and it will give you a list of produce that’s in season in your area!

So let’s get started. Here are some of the fruits and vegetables you might find at your local farmer’s market in August!

Bok Choy

So I’ve never actually had bok choy, but I am definitely heading out to my local farmer’s market this month to pick some up! One of my favorite things about the farmers market is getting to try new fruits and vegetables that are in season, so this year I’m going to have to try bok choy out! I love stir fry so when I pick some up I’ll have to try this stir-fried chicken and bok choy recipe!

Apples

Apples are quite possibly my favorite fruit, so I love late summer and early fall when apples are in season in my area! Personally, I love my locally grown honey crisp apples. And because I’m lazy I use this handy apple corer and slicer to cut up my apples:)

Cantaloupe

As a kid I HATED cantaloupe, but now it’s actually growing on me! I love eating it raw, but this year I will definitely have to try out this strawberry cantaloupe smoothie!

Chili Peppers

Oh chili peppers. One of the best things about August is that peppers and tomatoes are season, so I can make salsa! Check out my favorite salsa recipes here!

Cilantro

And speaking of salsa, here’s another salsa essential that’s in season in August. Not only is cilantro great for salsa, but it also makes some awesome salad dressing. Check out this recipe for my absolute favorite creamy tomatillo salad dressing.

Eggplant

Eggplant was on my list for last month, but I put it on the list for this month as well so that I would remember to pick some up! I’m dying to try some of this eggplant parmesan this month!

Grapes

Grapes are in season in August! I am a huge fan of grapes because they are such a great healthy snack!

Okra

One of my favorite things about farmer’s markets is they introduce me to new produce. I had never heard of okra until I was 19 and saw some at a local farmers market! It’s hard to find in my area because it isn’t well known, but I hear it’s a staple in the southern states. If I can find some I’m going to try this fried okra recipe!

 

Oregano

This herb is so good for your chickens and so I love that fresh oregano is in season this month. Check out my recipe for tummy treats for your chickens that includes oregano! I also sell dried oregano here.

Wheat Berry & Lemon Balm Happy Tummy Treats

Peaches

I look forward to peach season every years, so that I can have peach cobbler. I LOVE it! It tastes so good, and this is my favorite recipe here.

 

Snap peas

I love peas! Typically peas are in season in early summer, but there’s a farmer near me who occasionally does a fall crop of peas and they’re done in late August to early September. I love that I can have peas in late summer too! I preserve my fresh peas every year, so that I can eat yummy peas all year long.

View this post on Instagram

Yum, peas! What are you harvesting right now?

A post shared by Pampered Chicken Mama (@pamperedchickenmama) on

Tomatoes

My favorite thing about July and August is that tomatoes are in season. Grocery store tomatoes have nothing on the locally grown tomatoes that I can pick up at the farmers market. And nothing compares to having a fresh tomato on your burger at a BBQ.

Kohlrabi

This is another vegetable that I had never heard of before going to a farmers market. This stuff comes into season in my area in late August and early September, but in other areas of the United States it isn’t in season until October. I’m definitely going to try out this roasted kohlrabi recipe this August.

View this post on Instagram

Kyssikset💜 #kasvimaalla #kyssäkaali #kohlrabi

A post shared by Heli Koukonen (@helikoukonen) on

What foods are you going to get at the farmer’s market this month? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Dry Tomatoes Like A Boss With This Tutorial

Dry Tomatoes Like A Boss With This Tutorial

Dried tomatoes add an amazing burst of flavor to any recipe and that’s why it is a must-have in my kitchen here at the farm.

 

It gives delicious depth to my meals and it is fully packed with nutrients that our body will enjoy. There’s nothing better than something that’s good for your body and your taste buds!

 

With the high cost (a whopping $20 per pound) of dried tomatoes in the store,  how do you enjoy these heavenly tomatoes without hurting your budget?

 

Simple. Dehydrate your own tomatoes! And it doesn’t have to be in the sun. There are easy ways on how to dry tomatoes. Check out these tips and tricks to drying them in your home.

 

Warning: Dried Tomatoes Can Still Spoil

I know how much people enjoy eating and using dried-tomatoes in salsas, pizzas, sauce, etc. And you can’t wait to learn how to produce a bunch on your own without buying from the market.

 

However, before we go to the methods of drying out tomatoes, we need to keep the following things in mind:

 

  • Dehydrated food can be stored and consumed for long periods of time but it can still spoil when it is kept for longer than usual.
  • Drying tomatoes correctly and storing them in the proper conditions can give you about 7 months of shelf-life.
  • When you dry and store the tomatoes, make sure you keep them away from moisture (especially inside the containers when already stored) to avoid the growth of bacteria.
  • Dried tomatoes with oil, garlic, and herbs will need to be refrigerated after opening.
  • Watch out for signs of rot. Never eat food that has already started producing molds!

Sun-Drying Tomatoes in Summer

From the Aztecs to the tomato-loving country of Italy, drying raw food has been a reliable method of storing food for a long time. We can dry tomatoes the old fashioned way using the sun (and who doesn’t love a bit of Tuscany in their own backyard??).

 

When you dry tomatoes the old-fashioned way, it has to be in the summer when the sun is high and the air is warm, and dry.  Find out how to dry tomatoes in the sun from this action guide.

 

What You Need Instructions
• Screen for drying the tomatoes
• Cheesecloth
• 10 tomatoes of standard size (for 1 ounce of finished product)
1. Slice the tomatoes in proportional sizes, scoop out the seeds, and lay them on the screen.
2. When drying both ends, place them skin down so it dries well.
3. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set out to dry.
4. Place the screen with the tomatoes in a good location that receives full sun and is free from predators.
5. Cover with a raised cheesecloth to keep off insects and provide good ventilation.
6. Bring the tomatoes in at night to avoid the dew.

 

This method can take up to two weeks of bringing the tomatoes in and out the sun to dry. It is time-consuming,  but you don’t need to invest in any equipment.

Drying Tomatoes All-Year Round

If you live in an area that doesn’t receive a lot of sun throughout the year, we have 2 other options for you to dry your tomatoes.

 

First, you can use your oven.  Because sun-drying tomatoes can take up too much time and effort, you can use an oven to dry them faster.

 

This method is pretty simple – set the oven to the lowest heat setting possible and bake the tomatoes until dried. This method takes anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.

 

 

But who needs an oven during the summer? Or who wants to waste that much electricity if you know how to dry tomatoes in a dehydrator, right?

 

As an organic farmer, the best alternative to sun-drying raw food is using a dehydrator. This tool has many advantages compared to the oven method.

 

  • A dehydrator uses low temperatures that can preserve enzymes which keeps your tomatoes good for you and not just a seasoning for your food.
  • It uses a fan that allows proper circulation of warm air making it more efficient.
  • It comes in different sizes which means you can dry more foods at once.
  • Lastly… a fan VS an oven? It’s a no-brainer. I would go for the smaller carbon footprint

 

Here is a quick action guide on how to dry tomatoes in a dehydrator with an amazing recipe!

3 main ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

 

Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes in uniform thickness and size.
  2. Place the cut tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle with some salt and olive oil. Mix well and let the tomatoes dry partially. *Note that these two seasonings are optional. This recipe, for me, creates wonderful tasting dried tomatoes that you can eat right out of the bag.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on the dehydrator tray and dry until all moisture is out.
  4. Store in an airtight container (a bag or a jar) and place in the fridge for long-term storage.

Finally, you can enjoy that summery sun-kissed taste of dried tomatoes all-year round! Do you have a unique way of how to dry tomatoes? Share it with us!

 

Dried Tomatoes

  • Garden-Fresh Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  1. Slice tomatoes in uniform thickness and size.

  2. Place the cut tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle with some salt and olive oil. Mix well and let the tomatoes dry partially. *Note that these two seasonings are optional. 

  3. Arrange the tomatoes on the dehydrator tray

  4. Dry until all moisture is out (consult your dehydrator instructions).

  5. Store in an airtight container (a bag or a jar) and place in the fridge for long-term storage.

Canning Vegetables Step-By-Step Instructions

Canning Vegetables Step-By-Step Instructions

This year we’ve been lucky enough to have bumper tomato and squash crops – which means it’s time to get canning vegetables!

 

I’m a huge salsa fan. Like yogurt and mozzarella, salsa is one of those things I can always eat. So I make sure to can a TON of it to keep me going throughout the winter.

 

When you can anything, salsa included, you need to make sure you do it right. The last thing you want is to ruin the harvest you worked so hard to preserve or worse – get sick.

 

How to get started canning vegetables:

Step 1: Observe safety rules such as making sure you process your canned vegetables according to standard safety practices.

Step 2: Have necessary tools such as mason jars, lids, rings, and a water bath or pressure canner on hand.

Step 3: Decide whether you’ll use a water bath canner or pressure canner, and familiarize yourself with your unit’s instructions for use.

Step 4: Clean and sterilize your jars by washing them in warm, soapy water.

Step 5: Pack your jars according to the recipe you’re using.

Step 6: Process your jars of vegetables.

Step 7: Store your jars in a cool location away from sunlight. 

 

But here’s the deal:

Canning is one of those things you can learn in an apartment or on a 100 acre homestead – which means you can start building your homestead anywhere.

 

If you live in an apartment or your HOA won’t let you grow food, just head down to a farmers market and buy as much of the freshest in-season produce you can afford. 

 

You can also can most meats and fish – so if you buy your meat in bulk, have a lot of luck fishing, or just find a great deal at a store you don’t wan’t to pass up, you can preserve it for later.

 

What do I really love about canning?

 

During the coldest days of winter, you can still have a taste of summer. 

Confused about canning? It's easy! This article covers the basics of canning, including how to do it, what to buy, and where to buy it! From FrugalChicken

Canning basics

 

Why bother?

While this is fairly intuitive, the point of canning anything, salsa included, is to preserve the freshest foods for times when they might not be so abundant.

 

That being said, the first step to learning to can salsa is to choose only use the freshest food, and make sure your ingredients are free of mold, soft spots, or any discoloration. In this case, the quality of your salsa ingredients counts!

 

canning tomato basics

 

Safety first

The number one rule of thumb is to not make certain canning mistakes, which means you want to make sure you remove oxygen, destroy enzymes and prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria, yeasts, and molds that threaten to destroy your harvest and render the food unsafe.

 

You want to use a method to can your salsa so that the glass jars and lids form a good vacuum over your harvest so that liquid stays in, while air and microorganisms stay out of the jar so they don’t destroy it.

 

Necessary tools for canning vegetables

Luckily, to can your harvest, you’ll only need a few inexpensive tools.

 

First, you’ll need mason jars, lids, and rings, which can be purchased online or at any grocery store.

 

The mason jars really are a great investment because they can be used for many, many years.

 

When we first moved to our homestead, the previous family had a huge collection of old mason jars they passed down to us – score!

 

Even though they were decades old, they were still very usable.

 

You’ll also need a few specialized tools, such as:

  • A plastic or stainless steel funnel
  • A stainless steel ladle
  • A canning jar lifter with rubber grips
  • A good pair of kitchen tongs
  • Magnetic lid lifter and bubble remover
  • Pressure canner

 

You can purchase these items individually, but your best bet is to buy a kit (you will have to purchase the pressure canner separately) – that way you’re getting everything at once, and when you start to can, you won’t have missed anything.

 

Using a pressure canner

Pressure canners used to get a bad rap because old, old models had a possibility of exploding. (pressure and all…)

 

But today’s models are more advanced and a perfectly safe. If you can find a used one, go for it.

 

Buying new works as well (full disclosure: I purchased mine new because I wanted to make sure it would work.) 

 

Follow the directions that come with your pressure canner to use it properly.

 

Clean and Sterilize Your Jars

Be sure to have all your tools on hand before starting, and decide what size mason jars you will use. They are available in ½ pint, pint, 1½ pint, quart, and ½ gallon sizes.

 

Before you use your mason jars, wash them in hot, soapy water or run them through the dishwasher.  Just be sure they’re free of soap when they’re clean so the flavor of your food doesn’t get ruined.

 

You can also soak mason jars for several hours in a solution containing 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water.

 

Sterilizing your jars

You will need to sterilize your jars for anything you want to preserve that will be processed less than 10 minutes.

 

Before sterilizing your jars, prepare the food you want to can. You will place your food into the jars immediately after they’re sterilized.

 

To sterilize your jars, place them right side up on the rack in pot of boiling water. The rule of thumb is to fill the pot and jars with hot water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars.

 

Boil 10 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft.( At higher elevations, you should boil for 1 additional minute for each additional 1,000 ft.)

 

Using your canning jar lifter, remove your sterilized jars and fill them with the food you want to preserve.

 

Remove your lids and rings from the water using the magnetic jar lifter

 

For jams and jellies, or anything with liquid, it’s a good idea to use your funnel.

 

Top with the lids, making sure to tighten the screw bands.

 

Processing your jars 

The best book on the market for processing times is the Ball Blue Book.

 

Every homestead that wants to can their harvest should have a copy on hand. For the value, the price is negligible.

 

Once you’re done processing your jars, don’t retighten the lids. You’ll know they’re properly sealed when you hear a “ping” after you process the jars and the tops are indented.

 

Store your jars in a cool location away from sunlight.

It’s necessary to store them below 95°F, and it’s optimal to keep the temperature between 50° to 70°F to maintain the quality of your canned produce.

 

I’d love to hear from you!

 

What will you try canning first? Leave a comment below, or email me!

 

Like this article? Try these recipes!

Classic Strawberry Jam

Peaches & Basil Jam

Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

7 Controversial Canning Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Health

7 Controversial Canning Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Health

There’s common canning mistakes…and then there’s canning mistakes that can cost you your health.

Every year, I see the same articles floating around the internet and getting shared on Facebook. And I worry for the unsuspecting people who will follow this bad advice, and make all sorts of canning mistakes that might lead them to a hospital visit (and a big ol’ bill).

Canning vegetables should be a fun and easy process, and it is, when you follow established directions that are safe and have been studied.

In this article, we’ll debunk a lot of the canning myths I see floating around on the internet so you can feel confident canning your harvest.

Umm…actually….

One common response to debunked canning mistakes usually is something like “well, my grandmother did it and nobody died, so it must be okay.”

Yes, reported cases of poisonings from home canned goods are relatively rare. But that’s because a majority of people follow canning recipes outlined by research institutes such as the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

This center has studied many food preservation methods, which have helped to establish which home canning recipes and practices are safe – and which are just canning mistakes you want to avoid.

Here’s 7 canning mistakes you might see on Facebook. You should avoid these myths so you don’t get sick.

Mistake #1: Oven canning is safe

Oven canning, which involves placing filled jars in a hot oven then allowing the heat to seal the jars, is one common canning tip that’s totally a safety don’t.

The simple reason is the contents of your jars may not get hot enough to actually kill all the bacteria and mold spores in your food, which then have a likelihood of growing inside your jars.

While both water bath and pressure canning rely on water to conduct heat to kill bacteria, mold, etc. that might spoil food, the oven canning method involves only dry heat. Because dry heat does not raise temperatures as consistently as water, there’s no telling what the temperature inside the jar has reached.

Even if you leave your food in the oven for the same amount of time you would if you were water bath canning, the inside of your canning jar might not get as hot as it needs to be to properly kill all the bacteria crawling inside. It’s one of the most common mistakes we see!

Mistake #2: Flipping a hot jar upside down seals it well enough, and waterbath or pressure canning isn’t necessary.

A few articles on the internet offer the advice that that after filling a hot canning jar, it’s perfectly safe to flip it upside down to get the lid to seal. While your lid might seal, it’s potentially too weak to make a really sticky seal, and you might find in a few months that your jars are no longer sealed at all (and have a big green moldy mess).

Additionally, one of the most common mistakes with this method is that your food, which you just ladled into the jar, also probably didn’t reach a high enough temperature to kill off any nasties lurking around to spoil your food.

According to science, the biggest reason that water bath and pressure canning are safe is because they raise the internal temperature of the food to a high enough degree that a most of the bacteria and mold spores are killed.

If you rely on flipping the jar to create a seal, you’re making more than just a few mistakes by skipping an important step.

Mistake #3: Paraffin wax is an excellent sealer

Using paraffin to seal food is another common mistakes we see when it comes to canning. Using paraffin in canning to preserve food involves placing thin layers of wax over your jar until there’s about a half inch of wax that seals the opening.

Back in the day, canning with paraffin wax was considered safe, but the research shows that the bacteria and spores just aren’t sufficiently destroyed. There’s also no way to determine whether the jar is actually sealed well enough.  Stick with new mason jar tops!

Mistake #4: Inventing your own recipes is okay

While I’m always tempted to create my own salsa recipes, the truth is that inventing your own canning recipes isn’t a good idea, and so it’s 4th on our list of common canning mistakes. The canning recipes you see in the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving and on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website have been rigorously tested for safety.

If you create your own canning recipe, the amount of acid needed to safely preserve food might be off (a pH of 4.6 or lower is advised), or the temperature might not get high enough to adequately destroy bacteria and mold spores present. If you want to make up your own canning recipes, you can always freeze it.

Mistake #5: If it’s canned at the store, then it’s ok to can it at home

This is one of the biggest common canning mistakes I see. Here’s why: Commercial manufacturers spend a lot of money researching canning and safe storage techniques. They also can heat their canning recipes to a higher temperature than we’re able to using our own equipment. While they have methods and data to safely preserve certain foods, we do not, and we can’t repeat these techniques at home.

Mistake #6 It’s not necessary to boil lids before canning

On the contrary, it’s very important to boil mason jar lids before using them to preserve fruits and veggies. While sometimes you’ll read that the lids will get sterilized during canning anyway, simmering the lids is meant to heat the rubbery part to ensure a proper seal. The last thing you want is to make mistakes that cause a poor or faulty seal to destroy all your hard work.

Mistake #7: Canning butter is safe

I frequently see recipes and articles that recommend preserving butter by pouring hot, melted butter into heated jars, then sealing the product by flipping it. In fact, it’s one of the most common mistakes I see shared on Facebook, and a hotly debated topic.

While it seems logical that dairy can be preserved in jars, at this time, there are no safe canning recipes to preserve butter out there. Butter is a low-acid product, meaning botulism spores have a better environment to grow.

Fats like butter can also protect bacteria from heat during canning, so for now, preserve your butter at home by freezing it. Kept at room temperature, your canned butter will quickly spoil.

Canning and preserving fruit & vegetables is safe....unless you make one of these common canning mistakes. Here's how to avoid them & stay healthy!

How To Store Garlic Long Term

How To Store Garlic Long Term

Did you plant cloves of spicy-smelling garlic and now you’re wondering how to store garlic long term?

 

Garlic is a wonderful addition to any garden, and it’s a wonderful sense of satisfaction harvest it – especially after you cure it and realize you won’t be needing to buy garlic from the grocery store anymore!

 

The first year we planted garlic, we weren’t sure when to harvest it – it can be different for every zone and even ever microclimate.

 

So we waited months – and came up with a GREAT harvest.

 

But then came the next step – how to store garlic long term without ruining it or losing it to bugs, dust, and other pests like mice.

 

Should you remove the papery skins? What about bulbs that seem ok except for 1 or 2 spots? Could we store those, or did we need to use them right away? What happens if they’re rained on while curing them straight from the garden?

 

You might have these same questions.

 

Luckily, a lot of our worries were unfounded – we were able to cure and store garlic long term with very few issues (and it took us quite a while to work through all that garlic!)

 

If you want to store garlic long term, it’s fairly straight forward as long as you follow some simple rules.

 

how to store garlic long term #garlic

 

Selecting Garlic For Long Term Storage

After you pull up all your garlic, you’ll want to let them cure for an hour or two in the sun – be sure to do this on a sunny day. This initial cure helps them dry, prepares them, and is how to store garlic from the garden without ruining your hard-earned harvest.

 

Next, you’ll want to examine the bulbs – take note of their condition. If any garlic bulbs have damage or seem soft, use them right away. They’re not good candidates to store long term.

 

Once you’ve selected your garlic, you will want to cure them for an additional 2 weeks in a relatively cool environment – no warmer than 65 degrees. Higher temperatures can trigger mold or prompt your garlic to sprout.

 

Humidity is another consideration when trying to store garlic long term – too high and it might cause your garlic to mold or rot, and too high will cause garlic cloves to shrivel and become useless.

 

You will notice a lot of the dirt will fall away – this is a good thing. You can also brush the garlic very gently, although I’ve noticed this can damage them. If there’s excessive amounts of dirt, then you can try gently brushing it off, but if there’s just a little dirt, chances are it will fall off on its own.

 

Don’t remove any of the papery skins – this will also damage the garlic, making it unsuitable to store long term.

 

After the 2 weeks are up, you can then transfer them to mesh bags like these or braid them if they’re a soft-neck variety (hard necked garlic can’t be braided easily – keep these in a mesh bag).

 

Air circulation is very important, which is why braiding or mesh bags are ideal garlic storage containers – they allow you to store a lot of garlic in a small space without reducing the garlic’s change to “breathe.”

 

As you store your garlic, don’t let the temperature rise – this WILL prompt your garlic to sprout since it’s no longer chilled (it thinks winter is over and it needs to grow!)

 

how to store garlic long term #garlic

 

Drying to Store Garlic Long Term

If braiding or storing in mesh bags isn’t your thing or you’re lacking the space, then you can dry your garlic. This process is simple and great because it produces a shelf-stable product that won’t sprout.

 

Start by slicing peeled garlic into thin strips and then dehydrate them either in a commercial food dehydrator or by placing them on a cookie sheet and drying them in your oven at around 120 degrees for a few hours. Leave the door slightly open to allow for air circulation.

 

Once dry, store garlic long term in an airtight container and use as needed.

 

Preserve Garlic In Honey

This hack has the added benefit of being great for colds. So if you have some spare cloves or just want to try something different, then preserve and store garlic long term in honey.

 

Honey has antimicrobial properties and stored correctly, it’s nearly impossible for bacteria to grow.

 

To preserve garlic in honey, peel the cloves, then drop them into a mason jar filled with honey. As long as the cloves remain submerged, they will keep for a long time.

 

Pull them as needed, or drink the honey in tea whenever you’re sick – as the garlic stores, it will steep it’s immune boosting properties into the honey. Yum!

How To Cure And Store Potatoes For Long Term Storage!

How To Cure And Store Potatoes For Long Term Storage!

It’s the end of the growing season for tubers – and you’re probably wondering how to cure and store potatoes for long term storage.

 

Curing potatoes is a simple process….and it is very necessary if you want your potatoes to stay edible into the winter.

 

By now, if you haven’t harvested your tubers, the green stems are likely drooping, and you’re itching to get your hands dirty and pull up those treasures you’ve waited all year to harvest.

 

And you should be excited – you’ve worked hard & should enjoy your haul!

 

Nothing is worse than working so hard – only to have the tubers rot because you didn’t properly cure and store potatoes for long term storage in the right conditions.

 

In this article, I will show you how to cure and store potatoes for long term storage so you can enjoy them in stews and combined with cheese and bacon all season. We’ll also cover how to prepare potatoes for storage after they’ve gone through the cure process.

 

This is a time tested process for how to cure and store potatoes for long term storage that our ancestors used!

 

How To Cure And Store Potatoes For Long Term Storage

 

How To Cure and Store Potatoes For Long Term Storage

After you’ve carefully dug up your potatoes, leave them outdoors in the sun (and away from hungry critters) for an hour or so to dry.

 

Don’t wash them – just let them dry. Washing them could result in dampness or mold.

 

If they’re still excessively dirty after they’ve dried, use a soft brush and gently sweep off clumps of dirt. Only do this if you must – any sort of brushing runs the risk of damaging your potatoes and they won’t last in long term storage.

 

At this point, you should examine your tubers – if any show signs of damage, such as a tear in the outer skin or holes, eat them right away.

 

The potatoes will heal some damage as they cure, but ones with excessive damage might not store well, so it’s simplest to just consume them ASAP.


Want to know more about growing herbs? Click here to learn more about my book, Herbs In Your Backyard.


How To Cure And Store Potatoes For Long Term Storage

 

How to Cure and Store Potatoes for Long Term Storage Tip: Keep Out Of The Light

To cure and store potatoes for long term storage (up to 7 months), the next step is to allow them to dry for a longer period, 1 – 2 weeks, this time out of the light.

 

Have you ever seen potatoes with green skin?  These are potatoes that have been allowed to cure too long in the sun. After enough time, the skins are no longer edible.

 

Sunlight causes potatoes to produce solanine, which turns potatoes bitter and is poisonous. So, it’s critical to store them out of the light once they’ve completed the first cure.

 

Allow the potatoes to cure in a dark place where temperatures are about 55 degrees. For the first 2 weeks, the humidity should be close to 85 percent.

 

To ensure the temperature and humidity are adequate while you cure potatoes, use a thermometer like this one. It has both a humidity and temperature gauge, and it’s cheap enough – it’s a sound investment.

 

I’ve found it’s best to lay the potatoes out during this phase – you want the air to circulate around them so they finish drying. It’s important they form a thick skin, which stands up to the storage process better.

 

During this time, the potatoes are also “healing” wounds that occurred earlier in the the cure process. This, also, allows them to withstand the long time in storage and remain fresh.

 

After this phase of the curing potatoes process is complete, move the potatoes to a dark storage area where temps are cooler – no more than 40 degrees F. A cellar in your home – or a root cellar if you’re so lucky – is a perfect spot.

 

The consistent temperature is important; if temps are higher, your potatoes might sprout eyes or even start to shrivel.

 

To store potatoes for long term storage, once they’re dry, 6-inch bins with slatted sides like these are a good option. The air can still circulate, and saves space. Just be sure critters can’t get into the bins.

 

Another option that’s recommended is to use perforated plastic or paper bags. These allow the potatoes to “breathe” while you store them. 

 

If any of your potatoes sprout eyes while they’re in your store room, double check the temperatures and light. If you spot mold or notice shriveling, check the humidity as well. If you cure and store potatoes for long term storage in just the right conditions, your potatoes should store for quite a long time – up to 7 months.

 

Now you know how to cure and store potatoes for long term storage!


In my book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening, I show you how to build cold frames and raised beds so you can start growing your own food. You can get it on Amazon here. If you buy directly from me, you save 20% off the Amazon price and get the digital version for free.)


More Organic Gardening Tips: