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5 Ways to Store Fresh Foods Through Winter

5 Ways to Store Fresh Foods Through Winter

Crops that keep for more than just a few weeks are referred to as “storage crops.” Such fruits and veggies are often staples of those interested in sustainable, local eating, as they allow you to stock up when they’re in season (either via your own garden harvests or at the farmers market), and then slowly eat your stores into autumn and winter. Try the following storage methods for these five crops, and you can be on your way to enjoying fresh food year-round!

1. Potatoes. Place cured potatoes in a burlap bag, tuck the bag into a plastic storage bin left open a wee bit, and keep in an unheated basement.

 2. Garlic. After harvesting, cure garlic by hanging or laying it in a warm, well-ventilated place for a few weeks. Next, trim back scapes and store the garlic in a cool place such as a basement, where it will last for months.

3. Beets. Wash beet roots, cut off stems and leaves, and store in a fridge in plastic bags with a few drops of water in each bag.

4. Apples. Wrap unblemished fruits individually in paper, and store in a refrigerator in waxed boxes to maintain high humidity. (Note that apples give off ethylene gasses that can affect other fruits and veggies, so be mindful of what you store with your apples.)

5. Winter Squash. Cure in a well-ventilated place held at about 70 to 80 degrees for two weeks, and then store in baskets or shallow containers in a cool room (they’ll keep for months!).

For much more information on storage crops and storage methods, check out the article 20 Crops That Keep and How to Store Them and the helpful charts on the page How to Harvest, Cure and Store 20 Storage Crops.

For even more advice on food-preservation techniques that will help you enjoy delicious, local food in all seasons, see these resources:

Related Care2 articles:

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.

47 comments

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3:51PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

thanks for the article.

12:18AM PST on Jan 16, 2013

Thank you so much!!!

2:50AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

thanks for the information.

8:19AM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:27PM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

Good ideas...thanks!

10:50AM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

Great tips to get people started! Thanks!

2:10AM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

Most people don't live in houses with basements, anymore. What if we want something besides potatoes and apples and squash during the winter? Pretty limited selection in the advice column.

9:48PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

useful advice!

3:33PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

thank u!

11:29AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

That's all great, what if you don't have a basement??????????/

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