Yesterday’s super special bonus CSA share included heaps of potatoes and parsnips, garlic and carrots. There were a number of good questions on how best to store things, so we’ve put together some quick tips. Don’t fret about not having a root cellar. Here are some ideas on and tips for vegetable storage in a typical home:Your refrigerator, usually set at about 35-40 degrees F, is a great spot for roots and greens (beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, radishes and cabbage, kale). Store these in a plastic bag (the fridge is a great dehydrator); if you prefer, wrap roots in a paper towel to wick away moisture, then tuck into a plastic bag. For roots, cut off the greens and store separately.An unheated (but freeze-proof) room, closet, garage, entryway, attic, usually between 40-50 degrees F, is a great spot for garlic, winter squash, onions, and shallots. We’ve had good luck keeping these all on the counter in our (cool) kitchen for 2-3 months. For longer term storage, keep onions and shallots and garlic in a dark spot. For winter squash, make sure they are not touching and they have good airflow between them. If you want details as to why not to stack your squash, we’ll be happy to show you the squash soup stains on the floor of our basement. Completely nasty.
A cool damp area (between 33-50 degrees F), like your basement, is a great spot for storing potatoes. Keep these guys in a dark and ventilated area, a cardboard box, a wooden crate, a mesh bag (not a sealed plastic tub, or plastic bag); and don’t store potatoes with apples. Apples give off ethylene gas that will spoil your potatoes.
Visit your stores every once and a while and check things over. If anything has gone soft or funky, get it out of there quick.
Put it up!