With a slow start to the cold season, I've been able to catch up on my root cellaring activities. Actually, I'd be a bit worried if I did have it all stored--outside temp is too warm yet. I've been watching the forecasts for near-freezing temps before storing carrots, apples, cabbage, potatoes and squash. Looks like next week will be perfect for a trip to the farm to stock up.
Cabbage, Carrots, Apples and Potatoes should all be stored in a very cold, dark and, preferably, damp space. Temp should be 33-40 degrees. This could be achieved in a garage, unheated entry or basement room. Store each as follows:
Apples: Apples should be stored separately as fruit gives off ethylene gas which will cause other produce to spoil sooner. Pick late-ripening apples. Wait to pick until apples are ripe to avoid shriveling. Leave stem on to avoid breaking skin. Store in shallow layers to avoid bruising. Apples will keep for 4-6 months.
Cabbage: Select unbruised heads. Store as is on shelves, not touching. Keeps 2-4 months.
Carrots: Dig before freeze, shake off dirt, break off green top. Pack in single layers, close together, with a layer of damp sand, sawdust or moss in between each layer. Put damp newspaper over top layer of sand. Keep newspaper moist by occasional spraying or soaking. Keep 4-6 months.
Potatoes: Dig after tops dry up and before frost. Store in mesh bags or in small piles on shelf. Air should be able to circulate freely around them. Keep 4-6+ months.
Squash, Pumpkins and Sweet Potatoes should be stored in mild and dry conditions. Temp should range 45-60 degrees and 60%-79% humidity. Store each as follows:
Squash and Pumpkins: Remove surface bacteria by wiping down with bleach solution of 4 drops of bleach per quart of water. Store in single layers on shelf. Keep 1-3 months.
Sweet Potatoes: Store in sawdust or oats so they are not touching, or wrap individually in newspaper. Keep 1-3 months.
Onions and Garlic should be stored in cool (35-50) and dry (60-70% humidity) and dark condition. This environment can be achieved by putting produce in a paper bag in a cold closet or a dry cold basement room or an insulated dry garage. Put onions or garlic on shelves not-touching, or store onions in nylon stockings with a knot between each onion and hang garlic by stalks.
Garlic - hang by stalk. keep 4-6+ months
Onion - Store onions in nylon stockings with a knot between each onion.
keeps 4-6+ months.