Plant a month before last frost date by cutting up a mature potato or two that has "eyes" (buds). Plant the potato pieces in "hills" with several chunks in each hill and space the hills a couple feet apart. Potato plants are vines and will sprawl out, but are better tied up to get out of the way since the vegetable is in the root system. When the plant dies back at the end of the season, its time to harvest the potatoes. Use a shovel to dig up the potatoes.
Potatoes vary in size, shape, color and variety. Regardless of what type you are selecting, you want them to be firm and free of sprouts. Store them in a dark, cool, dry place with plenty of ventilation. Do not refrigerate them and do not store them with onions. If you find one that is rotting, remove it immediately.
Wash them under cold water. There are probably hundreds of ways to use potatoes. Here are just a couple basics.
Baked: Poke potatoes with a fort a couple of times, bake at 400° for about an hour. Slice open and top/season as desired.
Mashed: Peel potatoes, if you prefer and cut in to large chunks. Cover with water in a pan, boil for about 30 minutes, drain water off, add a bit of milk and "mash" with fork, hand masher, or electric mixer.
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