One Potato, two potato, three potato more
Are your potatoes ready to harvest? The Good Food Project staff and volunteers have been busy the last few weeks harvesting potatoes. Just think you planted early, you made hills so carefully and cultivated and watched them grow. Watch for the tops of the vines to start to turn a rusty color and appear to die. Potatoes are tubers and you want you plant to store as much of that flavorful starch a possible. Harvest time has come. When you harvest potatoes, you’ll need a shovel or a spading fork. If you’re harvesting for supper, drive your fork into the soil at the outside edges of the plant. Carefully lift the plant and remove the potatoes you need. Set the plant back in place and water thoroughly. After deciding when to dig up potatoes for winter storage, dig up a “test” hill for maturity. The skins of mature potatoes are thick and firmly attached to the flesh. If the skins are thin and rub off easily, your potatoes are still to ‘new’ and should be left in the ground for a few more days. As you dig, be careful not to scrape, bruise or cut the tubers. Damaged tubers will rot during storage and should be used as soon as possible. After harvesting, potatoes must be cured. Let them sit in temperatures of 45 to 60 F. (7-16 C.) for about two weeks. This will give the skins time to harden and minor injuries to seal. Store your cured potatoes at about 40 F. (4 C.) in a dark place. Too much light will turn them green. Never allow your potatoes to freeze.