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How to Store Potatoes Over Winter

How to store potatoes over winter

2014 marks the second year I have planted potatoes following the no-dig potato planting method. I first tried this method in 2013 after reading about it in my Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. Last year, I had an awesome potato harvest – well over 200 pounds. And this year, I ended up with about the same. I don’t have quite as many to store this year because we’ve eaten more of them so far, but since many people have asked me how my potatoes fared last year, I thought it was time for a post!

My method of potato storage last year was really high tech. I threw all my potatoes together in wooden bushel baskets I found a while back at Goodwill (they’re for sale on Amazon too, if you’re looking for some) and then stored them in my barn kitchen. When I needed potatoes, I just grabbed some out of the baskets and cooked them. A few did rot, but for the most part, my family of 6 was able to eat most of them over the winter and spring with little spoilage.

Since then, I have been thinking maybe I should do a better job of storing my potatoes. So, I’ve done a bit of research and here’s what I fount out.

How to Store Potatoes Over Winter

Plant the right type of potato

I planted four types of potatoes this year, and one criteria I always look for when choosing which varieties to plant is how well they store. Some potatoes, like Yukon Gold, are better keepers than other potatoes. For a comprehensive list of potatoes types and qualities, read this article from WSU, or read seed catalog descriptions too. That’s what I do, and here’s a list of my favorite free seed catalogs.

This year, I planted about 18 plants of each of the following potato varieties:

  • Yukon Gold
  • Kennebec
  • Purple Viking
  • Yellow Finn

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July Homestead Update

It’s time for a July Homestead Update! We’ve had a seriously busy July around here. Every year just gets crazier and crazier. I always think – next week, life will slow down. But it never happens! Surely, you feel the same way? July Homestead Update

July Homestead Update

In the garden…

simplifylivelove garden update julyMy garden is going absolutely nuts! I’ve harvested bucket  loads of cucumbers, zucchini, beans, and cabbage. The tomatoes are starting to turn red and my potatoes are finally dying back. My corn is looking gorgeous – I love the variation in the three different types of corn I planted and hope it yields well! I haven’t had this many cucumbers in YEARS! I’m not sure how I managed to handle the cucumber beetles this year, but whatever combination of things I tried {DE, companion planting, planting starts along with seeds} – it worked! I hope I can duplicate it next year.
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One Year in the Barn – Homestead & Garden Update

Well friends, we moved into our barn in July of 2013 and have now been living in it for an ENTIRE YEAR. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long, but it has. We’ve accomplished an awful lot around our little homestead this past year, and I’d like to take you on a tour of some of the events from the past year.

One Year in the Barn - Homestead & Garden Update

Well friends, we moved into our barn in July of 2013 and have now been living in it for an ENTIRE YEAR. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long, but it has. We’ve accomplished an awful lot around our little homestead this past year, and I’d like to take you on a tour of some of the events from the past year.

One Year in the Barn – Homestead & Garden Update

passive house Iowa

The biggest accomplishment is the Passive House we are building. {Curious what a passive house is? Read this.}

That’s it right there! The great thing about being married to a fabulous home builder/remodeler is SOME DAY I will get to live in that beautiful beast of a house. The bad thing about being married to a super talented home builder/remodeler, everyone else’s home projects come first. That means progress on our house is slow going. But we have made remarkable strides in the almost year since we started the house. We dug the hole last August, right after we got back from Paris.

Considering we had the worst winter on record in so, so many years, considering our windows were delayed by over a month from Europe, considering the hubs has never used many of the building materials he’s using or built a passive house before, I’ll take it! Windows are in. Interior framing is almost done. Exterior of the house is almost done. Insulation has been started. We’re making progress. I’d love to hope we will be in it by Christmas. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m kind of taking this time in the barn as a time to kill everything, so to speak. My dishes keep breaking, my towels get more stained every day, and more and more stuff is sent to Goodwill.  I’m getting new furniture, new linens, and new dishes when we do finally move into the new house. After almost 17 years of marriage and 4 kids, our stuff is just looking a little shabby. I’m taking trips to Ikea, making wish lists, and dreaming. We’ll be living in that house soon enough.
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No Yelling Challenge Week 3 ~ Coping Strategies

no yelling challenge
Well, we’ve reached the end of Week 3 in the No-Yelling Challenge. If you’ve been following along, you might remember that I started this challenge with two other bloggers in the middle of July and introduced the idea to you in Week 1. Last week, in Week 2,  I shared with you triggers – things that get me going and make me yell. This week, I’m sharing a few strategies that are helping me on my journey: coping strategies for anger management.

This week was pretty good for me. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the week was completely yell-free, but it was relatively peaceful around our home. I attribute the peace to a few things –
1. First and foremost, my husband and I are off to Paris T.O.D.A.Y. 🙂 We dropped the kids off with my parents and the two of us are heading out for the week. It ought to be super easy not to yell at my kiddos if they’re not around, right? But in all seriousness, knowing that this trip is on the horizon has been good for the soul. I can only imagine what benefits we will reap from actually unplugging {and being kid-free} for 8 days! Sometimes, it’s really important to take a break from everything, and this will be our first break since having kiddos 9 years ago.

2. I have had a lot of help this week! I have a babysitter who’s been helping me this summer and it’s been really nice. I’ve realized that I simply cannot do it all. It’s a lot of work taking care of 4 kids, cooking from scratch, maintaining a big garden, blogging, AND teaching online classes as well. My babysitter has been a godsend this summer and I am not looking forward to school starting and losing her. She helped me clean the old house when we moved into the barn, and then she helped me clean the barn, organize the barn, take care of kids, and she’s been carting them to swimming lessons and the library. Just having someone else around really helps me keep my cool. I don’t know why it’s easier to behave when I’m being watched, but it is. :/

jai westgard

3. And last, I tried something new and had some healing energy work done! I connected with an amazing woman named Jai a while back. Jai is an Intuitive Counselor and Healing Stone Jeweler and I met with her on Monday for a healing session of Star Work –> a mix of Reiki, energy work, Akashic reading, and use of healing stones. To prepare for our meeting, Jai asked me to think of a physical issue that I wanted help with, and of course, I asked for help with anger management and yelling.

I had no idea what to expect from our meeting because I have never had energy work performed on me before, but I was instantly drawn to Jai. She is down to earth, easy to like, and non-judgmental. It’s a little hard for me to admit that I’d like help with anger management, but not once did I feel judged by her because of said admission.

symbolic stone jewelry

Jai had me pick out a gorgeous pair of handmade earrings to draw in the energy and give me strength. I loved all the earrings she showed me, but I eventually picked the pair that focuses on Patience. Patience sums up what I need right now and I love the agate and hematite stones. So, admittedly, I am the ultimate skeptic and I had no idea what to expect as I’ve said, but Jai had me lie down on a massage table and then she taught me to breathe intentionally in and out through my mouth instead of my nose, and she went through her energy work. The goal was to get me to relax and that took quite a while as I am pretty high strung. After I relaxed, though, I felt the energy moving through my body. My whole body tingled! It was really an amazing experience and I was quite surprised!

After the energy work, Jai and I talked about what the energy said to her. Some of the things she told me were right on. We laughed and I reminisced a little about my childhood. We talked about me speaking more with my heart versus speaking with my head. We talked about cultural differences. We talked about finding time for ourselves! We talked about remembering to take care of ourselves and drinking water! And Jai told me about the Findhorn Foundation, which I am excited to learn more about – a holistic learning center and eco-village in Scotland.

Jai says, “As mothers, we need to remember to fill ourselves up with connection to our Source whatever that may look like. Energy medicine is a way to fill our cups. Like water, we don’t drink one cup and say, ‘OK, I’m good for the next week.’ Nope, we keep drinking it it. Same with energy, we need to remember how to drink it in.” She thinks {and I agree} that my energy source can be found in nature. To connect and fill up, I need to get outside, talk to my garden, sit under a tree, and relax.  I can apply that to anger management by taking myself outside when I need a moment alone and I did that a few times this week.

To summarize my coping strategies in this week’s No-Yelling Challenge

– I recommend that you step out of your comfort zone and try something new – like the energy work Jai performed on me. I think it’s also very helpful to admit that you can’t do everything and get help!! And finally, and I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but get away every now and again. Even if it’s just for a couple of hours – hire a babysitter and connect with your loved ones {the adults…} When all else fails, I’ve been trying humor a lot this week. I start to yell at my kids, and then make a funny face or use a funny voice and we all end up laughing. It’s been a great way to turn the yelling into something more fun. 🙂

Ultimately, though, taking care of myself, and liking myself, and being happy with myself is the only way I will be able to take care of others and have fun in the process!