This is a picture of my 50 lbs of organic potatoes. Anybody who has bought organic potatoes, or any organic vegetable knows that they do not last as long as conventional fruits and veggies. I know 50 lbs of organic potatoes seem like a lot and the first reaction of most people is that they wonder why I would buy so much of it when it is going to go bad shortly and start sprouting.
Guess what? I’ve got good news for you! I learned of a way to keep organic potatoes to last a long time, and it works! The potatoes in this pic are about 6 weeks old, and they still look and taste good 🙂
What you do is put organic apples on top of the organic potatoes, as seen in the pic. Make sure the apples are organic because you don’t want to contaminate the organic potatoes with chemicals and pesticides from an apple that is not organic. Apples give off ethylene gas and this gas helps the potatoes to remain dormant. Potatoes store well with apples but ethylene ripens fruit. So be sure to keep apples separated from fruit.
Potatoes generally do not seem destructible when compared to other vegetables, but when they are stressed by improper storage, the natural toxins in them develop at a faster rate, causing the greenish tinge around them called Solanine. This solanine cannot be destroyed by cooking, and therefore such greenish colored parts of the potato must be cut off before using. When exposed to sunlight over a period of time, the potato skin becomes gray, mottled, wrinkled and also leads to sprouting, especially when stored with onions. These sprouts also contain high levels of solanine and must be removed before cooking.
The best way to avoid all these harmful changes is to store the potatoes with a ripe organic apple. This will not only avoid sprouting of potatoes, but will also keep them good looking for up to eight-weeks, allowing them to be crispy, firm and moist when cut. This happens because a ripe apple emits ethylene gas and other organic alcohols as it respires, which suppress the enlarging of the potatoes’ cells, thereby keeping them from sprouting.
Therefore, when you need to store potatoes for a long period, it is a good idea to add an organic ripe apple and keep them in a cool, dry and dark place.
Some potatoes store better than other kinds. A thick skinned potato like an idaho potato will last longer than red potatoes that have thinner skins. To store potatoes on long term storage for fall preserving, you first have to make sure the root cellar or storage room you choose has to be pitch black. A room like this keeps the potatoes from sprouting. Even a smidgen of light will make the potatoes think spring is here. So the object is to make the potatoes think winter is still here the whole time they are in storage.
Another must do to store potatoes in long term storage has to do with temperature. Potatoes should be kept at a temperature just above freezing about 34 degrees or a couple degrees warmer. In the fall, day temperatures can be temperate so you want a room that keeps in the cool night temperatures through the day. Potatoes also require a high humid environment, about 95% is great. If your floor is earth, then you should not have problems.