This section is from the book "Save It For Winter.", by Frederick Fry Rockwell. Also available from Amazon: Save It For Winter; Modern Methods Of Canning, Dehydrating, Preserving And Storing Vegetables And Fruit For Winter Use, With Comments On The Best ... For Saving, And When And How To Grow Them.
These may be dried, dehydrated, or used in connection with other vegetables in various pickles and condiments. Surplus of the stock for summer and fall use may easily be saved and utilized, as they are easily handled in small quantities. For pickling and preserving, the pungent varieties, such as Long Red Cayenne, or Tabasco, are used; for canning and drying, the milder, thick-fleshed sorts are preferable. Of these one of the best and earliest to mature is Neapolitan. The standard general-purpose pepper is Ruby King. Chinese Giant is the largest of all, but also the latest to mature, so, unless it can be planted early, use one of the others.
The white or Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes are grown more extensively for winter use than any other vegetable. They are, of course, kept ordinarily by storing, although the "sweets" are not stored so generally in the home, as they are much more difficult to keep than white potatoes. Both kinds, however, are easily dehydrated and keep excellently. Sweet potatoes especially are one of the best vegetables for dehydrating, and a considerable amount should be put up while the tubers can be purchased cheaply in the fall, while the yield of either Irish or sweet potatoes, where the conditions are favorable, is good, nevertheless they are not crops which can be grown profitably, compared to most of the other root crops, in the home garden. If one can watch the market carefully in the fall or is able to buy direct from the grower, they can almost always be bought cheaper than they can be grown in a small way, unless one has ground available after planting all the other things which ordinarily are required in the home garden. Irish Cobbler for early and Green Mountain or Gold Coin for late, are the standard varieties of Irish potatoes and are all of excellent quality as well as good yielders. Sweet potatoes may be grown much farther north, as a home garden proposition, than they are grown commercially. I have matured good crops in northern Connecticut. An early variety such as Jersey Red should be used.
This is another crop which is easily kept for winter either by storing or dehydrating. Table or sugar pumpkins are easily prepared for keeping and will keep well. In many home gardens where they are never grown they could be planted to advan tage rather late in the season, as they will make satisfactory growth among sweet corn, pole beans, tomatoes, or near the edge of the garden where they can run out over the grass or climb a fence. If one can get out into the country they can often be obtained for little or nothing from some farmer who has more than he wants for his own use.
A generous amount of this very delicious and very prolific vegetable should be grown in every home garden. A few plants well cared for will give a sufficient supply for the average family for both summer and winter use. Rhubarb, because it will continue to live and throw up a few tough stalks with no care at all, is generally altogether neglected in the home garden, the yield being not over a fifth to a tenth of what it would be if properly attended to.