The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Checking over the storage potatoes

Potatoes sprouting in storageWhile you're planning your Christmas dinner, this is a good time to take a stroll through your storage fruits and vegetables and see how they're doing.  I'm sure you've heard that a rotten apple can spoil the barrel --- time to catch those rotten apples before they have a chance.

We tried out two different methods of storing our white potatoes this year --- under my bed and in the fridge.  Neither is optimal, but with just a few vegetables prefering root cellar conditions, we didn't think it was worth adding to our busy fall by fixing the refrigerator root cellar.  Over the last month or so, I noticed that the under-the-bed potatoes were starting to sprout, while those in the fridge were still hard as rocks, but my most recent foray into under-the-bed tubers shows dark spots popping up in their flesh.  I suspect that last week's serious cold spell froze the tubers touching the floor, cutting their shelf life down and putting them into the "eat now" category.  Still, keeping potatoes for 5 months with no special storage facilities isn't bad at all.

Next up, I'll be checking over the sweet potatoes, garlic, and butternuts.  I've noticed that a few of the butternuts have rotten spots --- probably time to roast them up and freeze the flesh for later eating now that there's a bit of space opened up in the freezer.  A little bit of management every month tends to keep us eating fresh food all winter, and I get a kick out of checking over our produce and seeing how much bounty remains after the solstice.

Give your chickens the gift of clean water with our homemade chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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