If you reside within the northern United States, the rising season is coming to a detailed. So, if you need regionally grown meals accessible all through the winter, it’s helpful to retailer fall produce, equivalent to potatoes, squash, and apples. Certainly, freezing, canning, pickling, and dehydrating are helpful strategies for preserving the backyard harvest, however not everybody needs to tackle these initiatives. 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 in terms of storage heartiness, and a few are significantly better suited than others. For instance, leafy greens, equivalent to lettuce and spinach, don’t retailer properly and it’s finest to dry or freeze legumes and peas.
The first step in preserving the autumn harvest entails rising or shopping for the perfect sorts of greens and fruits for storage. These embrace:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
There is all kinds of winter squash, and a few varieties retailer properly for longer durations than others. For instance, acorn, delicata, spaghetti, and candy dumpling squash can retailer for a few months, whereas buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, and butternut can maintain for as much as 5 – 6 months.
Of the tree fruits, apples and pears are undoubtedly your finest wager. However, keep away from softer varieties as a result of they’re extra prone to bruise, which can trigger them to rot.
Some glorious storage apple varieties embrace:
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Ida Red
- Red Delicious
Storing Fall Harvest in a Root Cellar (or Cool Location)
If you might be fortunate sufficient to have a root cellar, it is a nice strategy to preserve vitality whereas preserving the autumn harvest. It’s helpful to study which situations are finest for storing various kinds of produce, as all of them like barely totally different humidity ranges, temperatures, and different situations. Here are some tricks to get you began.
- “Cure” potatoes, winter squash, onions, and pumpkins for a number of days in heat temperatures earlier than putting 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 filth 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 properly when positioned in sand or sawdust.
- If doable, wrap apples and pears individually with paper to assist stop 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 objects 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 may enter your private home.
How To Store Produce if You Don’t Have a Root Cellar
It is feasible to retailer fall veggies, pears, and apples somewhere else, equivalent to a storage, a closet on an outdoor wall, or a cool room in your house. Ideally, you need the room to be beneath 60° F however above freezing. If temperatures quickly dip beneath freezing, utilizing a picnic cooler would possibly defend them.
Some squash shops comparatively properly at room temperature. One possibility is to show them for a splash of colour 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 onerous 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 filth to maintain out any frost. Then cowl with extra straw (a bale or two).”
Other gardeners report success with protecting carrots within the backyard mattress, trimming off the tops, and insulating them with 12 inches of mulch. This takes a considerably related strategy to the foundation clamp by insulating the harvest with pure supplies.
Storing Fall Produce for Greater Resiliency
Regardless of which choices you utilize, avoiding using electrical energy for storing meals helps improve your resiliency. If you might be in an space vulnerable to energy outages, it is going to show you how to stop meals from spoiling. Also, lowering your reliance on electrical energy and consuming regionally grown meals conserves vitality and helps you cut back your carbon footprint. And don’t overlook to take pleasure in your bounty with some scrumptious fall recipes.