Youth Farm Winter Share!
Youth Farm Winter Shares. The changing weather signals that it is time for putting up food for the coming winter 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 with a bit less humidity. 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, Kale and Kohlrabi
*Carrots, beets, kale, 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. Watch humidity, if the bag is full of condensation open it up a bit to let some moisture out. If your crops are drying out close the bag up tight.
*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!