Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.
If you reside within the northern United States, the rising season is coming to a detailed. So, in order for you regionally grown meals out there all through the winter, it’s helpful to retailer fall produce, reminiscent of potatoes, squash, and apples. Certainly, freezing, canning, pickling, and dehydrating are helpful strategies for preserving the garden harvest, however not everybody desires to tackle these tasks. So, let’s discover alternative routes to retailer the autumn harvest for the winter months forward.
Best Veggies and Fruits for Winter Storage
Not all veggies and fruits are created equal relating to storage heartiness, and a few are significantly better suited than others. For instance, leafy greens, reminiscent of lettuce and spinach, don’t retailer effectively and it’s greatest to dry or freeze legumes and peas.
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
There is all kinds of winter squash, and a few varieties store well for longer periods than others. For instance, acorn, delicata, spaghetti, and candy dumpling squash can retailer for a few months, whereas buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, and butternut can hold for as much as 5 – 6 months.
Of the tree fruits, apples and pears are positively your greatest wager. However, keep away from softer varieties as a result of they’re extra prone to bruise, which is able to trigger them to rot.
Some glorious storage apple varieties embody:
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Ida Red
- Red Delicious
Storing Fall Harvest in a Root Cellar (or Cool Location)
If you’re fortunate sufficient to have a root cellar, it is a nice technique to preserve power whereas preserving the autumn harvest. It’s helpful to find out about which conditions are best for storing various kinds of produce, as all of them like barely totally different humidity ranges, temperatures, and different circumstances. Here are some tricks to get you began.
- “Cure” potatoes, winter squash, onions, and pumpkins for just a few days in heat temperatures earlier than inserting them within the root cellar. This permits their pores and skin to thicken, making them extra storage hardy.
- Avoid storing any veggies whereas they’re moist as a result of it makes them extra prone to mould and decay. Instead of washing your produce, brush off free dust earlier than storing it.
- Space out veggies on cabinets to permit air circulation and keep away from spoilage. Consider utilizing shallow containers and storing produce in a single layer. Some produce, together with beets and carrots, retailer effectively when positioned in sand or sawdust.
- If potential, wrap apples and pears individually with paper to assist forestall them from spoiling.
- Store potatoes in a darkish place to stop them from turning inexperienced.
- Cut the inexperienced tops off and pack beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, and rutabagas in damp sand or sawdust in order that they don’t contact.
- Check in your produce usually and take away any gadgets that present indicators of rot to stop it from spreading.
- Deter mice and different rodents from consuming your harvest by plugging holes the place they might enter your house.
How To Store Produce if You Don’t Have a Root Cellar
It is feasible to retailer fall veggies, pears, and apples in different places, reminiscent of a storage, a closet on an outdoor wall, or a cool room in your house. Ideally, you need the room to be under 60° F however above freezing. If temperatures quickly dip under freezing, utilizing a picnic cooler would possibly shield them.
Some squash shops comparatively effectively at room temperature. One choice is to show them for a splash of coloration in your house till you’re able to eat them.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac recommends making a root clamp to retailer fall veggies within the backyard with out permitting them to freeze. “Instead of constructing a root cellar, simply dig out holes within the arduous floor to retailer cabbages, potatoes, and different root greens. Use hay in between every vegetable. Cover with a thick layer of straw, after which the dust to maintain out any frost. Then cowl with extra straw (a bale or two).”
Other gardeners report success with keeping carrots in the garden bed, trimming off the tops, and insulating them with 12 inches of mulch. This takes a considerably related method to the foundation clamp by insulating the harvest with pure supplies.
Storing Fall Produce for Greater Resiliency
Regardless of which choices you employ, avoiding the usage of electrical energy for storing meals helps enhance your resiliency. If you’re in an space susceptible to power outages, it can assist you forestall meals from spoiling. Also, decreasing your reliance on electrical energy and consuming locally grown foods conserves power and helps you cut back your carbon footprint. And don’t neglect to get pleasure from your bounty with some delicious fall recipes.