storing potatoes for seed
We'd really like to start growing and selling potatoes along with some of our other crops but golly seed potato is pricey, especially if you want to experiment with varieties... But I am utterly flummoxed about how to store potatoes as seed (although I AM going to try this year).
So, everything you read says it's a bad idea to save your own seed potatoes because of disease and last year I got sternly lectured over on the Harvest forum about how I'd just get diseased nasty potatoes if I tried to do this. And this year, I wrote to Ronnigers and asked about this, and got a vague note back about how "only the 2nd through 5th generations" produce good potatoes. HUH??? Neither of these things make sense. Seed potatoes have to come from somewhere -- seed potato companies dont' wave their magic wands and create disease-free first-generation potatoes. If potatoes were crappy after the 5th generation, we wouldn't have potatoes -- they wouldn't exist. There HAS to be a good way to store potatoes without getting diseases or losing vigor. I mean, geez, it's a staple food crop world-wide. It has to be simple, even! So if anyone can explain this to me, or tell me what miraculous techniques seed potato companies use to save their potatoes-- or perhaps what you use, in your very own root cellar! -- I'd appreciate it.
Whew. Sorry so longwinded, this has been bothering me a long time.