On May 3rd, of this year I did 3 things. Probably more, but we’re just going to discuss 3 of them at this moment.
#1. I planted my potatoes.
#2. I washed my hands.
#3. I waited.
5 months later I did it in reverse.
#1. I stopped waiting.
#2. I dirtied my hands.
#3. I dug up my potatoes.
Behold the Kennebec.
And the Russian Blues.
38 pounds of Kennebecs, 10 lbs of fingerlings and 4 pounds of Russian Blues.
Once the potatoes are harvested you have to berate them. Call them names. Put a reindeer hat on them and post it on Instagram. Do whatever you need to do for them to develop a thick skin. Mainly you just need to leave them outside for a couple of hours to dry out, then keep them in a dark, humid area for 2 weeks. For me, this meant drying them on a raised wire rack outside overnight and then storing them in covered wicker baskets outside for a couple of weeks.
Since I have air conditioning, outside is much more humid than inside therefore a much better place to cure the potatoes. Curing them in a humid area allows the potatoes to retain all of their moisture while their skins dry out and get tougher. This in turn means your potatoes will store much longer.
Once you’ve cured them you can bring them in the house. They should be stored in something that can breath like a wicker basket or burlap sack. They need to be protected from any light (so the don’t turn green) and kept in the coolest room of the house, which might in fact be your garage. Potatoes store the best when you keep them at 35 – 40 degrees (Fahrenheit). That just means that’s their most favourite conditions. If you store them in a 50 degree room they’ll still last a few months, just not as many as they would if they were kept a bit cooler.
The warmer the room you keep them in, the faster they dry out, and the shorter life span they have. Like a chain smoking, sun worshiper they will become dried out and wrinkled before their time.