Storing and Using Leftover Potatoes

Each year our potatoes produce very well, and the cellar potato bin gets almost full. We eat them, share them with our kids and grandkids, and of course our friends. When we have an over-abundance, we sale them.

This bin will hold about 25 bushels of potatoes but normally we fill it with about 15 bushel which is more than enough for us our kids.

When spring rolls around and the leftovers are starting to sprout, we use about a bushel for seed and the rest are peeled and canned. You might ask “why can them?”. Well, if you ever been in a pinch for time, canned potatoes are quick and can be used in so many different ways.

These are what my daughter, Heather, helped me can in the spring of 2021.

The pint jars are diced and great for hash browns, potato soup, corn beef hash and sometimes I’ll do a quick fry in bacon bits as a side for bacon and eggs. The chunked quarts can be mashed, used in soups and stews, and just buttered potatoes. I also have a few quarts leftover that I sliced for scalloped potatoes, fried potatoes and bake them in the over with rosemary & pats of butter. There are millions of dishes that can be made quicker if they’re already peeled and pre-cooked!

When I can them, I add the potatoes to the jars with salt, 1/2 teaspoon for pints and 1 teaspoon for quarts. I then cover them with water to the neck of the jar, add the lids and rings, and I pressure cook them at 10 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes.

I’m all about saving time especially during the summer when we are outside working until dark or we collapse, whichever comes first!!!

Willow Trees

Starting new willow trees from cuttings

These cutting remind me so much of forsythia but they are in fact willow tree branches from a very old tree at my husband’s grandfather’s farm across the road from us.

Our daughter loves weeping willows and has bought several and planted at her new home on our family farm but they have all died.

Hubby and I decided to get some cuttings from Granddaddy Harry’s farm and see if I could get them started in a bucket of water.  We cut about 50 branches of new starts, old branches and broken branches.  I put them in a five-gallon bucket and filled it with water and placed the bucket under the roof overhang of the east facing side of our house/  They set there for about two months and the roots that came out on those branches were quite plentiful and very  healthy.

Strong roots on practically every stem.

Willow branches rooted and potted.

In April, I set about 20 of the healthiest starts out in buckets of very fertile soil and the majority of them have lived.

New leaf growth and decision time!

Now all she has to do is decide how many she wants and where she will plant them.  If they don’t make it there will be no money lost and my time was worth the wait to watch them become little trees.  I love growing things!

 

Use what you have to earn

Every spring our yard is full and I mean full of two-inch maple tree seedlings and you’ve never seen anything grow as fast as they do.

Maple tree starts
Maple tree starts

 

I pulled these up in about five minutes on Tuesday evening and put them in a cup of warm water.  There’s 50 in that 12 oz drink cup.  I plan to set them out in individual quart pots this weekend.    You may ask why in the world would you do that.  Well, hubby and I priced these little jewels in a nursery a couple of weeks ago and I’ve checked the prices in where they’re sold in local groceries along with fruit trees, shrubs and potting plants and they all run about $20 – $25 each and they’re about six feet tall.

Sugar maple trees grow really fast and we have them all around our yard.  I have a young one that came up on the outside of the yard fence two years ago.  It is now a little over 10 feet tall and I did nothing to make it grow except leave it alone.  When they reach maturity they will shade the house in the summer and provide maple syrup in the spring.  They’re beautiful trees.  If we can sell these trees in two years or even three years we can make $1000.  My only expense will be my time in pulling them out of the ground as seedlings (5 minutes), potting them using salvaged pots and dirt from anywhere on the farm (maybe one hour) and watering them weekly if there’s no rain for about three months (10 minutes a week for 3 months=120 minutes).  I think I can do this!! Maybe not $1000 for 50 trees but pretty darn close and if we do it for several years.  Sorry folks, I’m getting ahead of myself in a big way!!  We can always dream a little dream.  That’s my warm and fuzzy or do I mean funny for the day!! 🙂

 

April goals

Yes it’s almost mid-month but I have some goals to complete before months end.  I always have high expectations of what I can complete in a two day weekend and that means I have six days to complete my goals.   Here’s the April goals:

1)  Clean out the fall/winter debris in the yard

2)  Transplant the hibiscus and shasta daisies to another location in the yard

3)  Clean all the flower beds and make ready for new additions

4)  Make 12 new blocks for the sampler quilt

5)  Start spring cleaning the bathroom, pantry and back porch

6)  Make new cushions for the lawn and porch furniture

7)  Set out 15 of the 30+ apple root stock and nine American chestnuts we started from seed.

8)  Finish planting the garden and flower seeds in the greenhouse

9)  Spring clean the guest room  (decided to start in the least travedled and used room)

10)  Clean the paddle boat and put it on the pond

I think this should keep me very busy for the rest of the month.  Since turkey season begins Saturday I should be able to start bright and early in the morning.

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