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:
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Read more: Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Household Hints, Lawns & Gardens, apples, beets, farmers' markets, fresh food, garlic, harvest, potatoes, squash, storage crops, storage food, storing food, sustainable food, Winter Squash
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