Youth Farm CSA: Storage ABC's
Youth Farm Winter Shares. As the weather changes and we put the garden to bed, it is that time of year to put up winter food for the coming months. If you are a Youth Farm Winter Share holder you will have lots of food to do just that. As all of the crops prefer different storage conditions, I wanted to share with you all some storage information that has helped me to stretch my local food long into winter (and even spring!).
The Crop Run Down..
*The key to good potato storage is to keep them away from light, at temperatures around 42- 55°F, with a relatively high humidity.
*Try storing your potatoes in places like an unheated entrance, spare room, attic, basement or garage. Choose a place that is insulated to protect the potatoes from freezing temperatures.
*Since potatoes like a bit of humidity store them in a perforated plastic bag, but do not tightly seal the bag — air flow is crucial to preventing mold and decay.
Winter Squash and Pumpkins
*Winter squash and pumpkins store best at 50 -60°F with a low humidity.
*Good places to keep your squash are similar to the potatoes. Just think cool and dry.
*Winter Squash and pumpkins are a relatively easy storage crop That said, their typical storage life is anywhere between 8-12 weeks. Hubbard and spaghetti varieties store a bit longer, acorns a bit shorter.
Carrots, Beets, Cabbage and Kohlrabi
*Carrots, beets, and the monster kohlrabi do best with near freezing temperatures, a.k.a. the refrigerator.
*High humidity is also critical for long term storage of these crops, so keep them in a perforated bag.
*If you are willing and able to give up some space in your refrigerator for these winter crops they will easily last you till the spring!
Onions, Shallots and Garlic
*The important factors of good storage for onions, garlic, and shallots are low humidity, good air circulation, and cool temperatures.
*The mesh bags you took these crops home in are great for storage. Try hanging the bags in a closet, or in an unheated room of your house. It is as easy as that, and you will have these jewels to spice up your meals all winter long.
A few more storage tips…
*Be sure to check your vegetables frequently and remove any crops that are starting to go bad.
*Always protect your crops from freezing temperatures.
*Experiment with storage locations, new recipes, and most importantly enjoy!