Here's a list of our loot:
- 25 pounds of carrots (washed and bagged)
- 25 pounds of sweet potatoes (bagged)
- 25 pounds mixed roots (celeriac, beets, parsnips, rutabaga, radish, turnip)
- 5 butternut squash
- 3 storage cabbage
- 8 pounds onions
- 12 garlic heads
- 6 stalks brussels sprouts
Sweet, right? David and I picked up our veggies and the following day took off for our Thanksgivings (Yes. We have two every year...First Night and Second Night, each in a different state with a different side of the family. It's awesome for me, because Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday.) Thanks to Mountain View Farm for providing us with storage tips for the above veggies. I'm sharing them here, because they are straight-forward instructions.
Winter/Thanksgiving Share Food Storage and Preservation Tips:
(By Mountain View Farm)
Carrots: For short term storage, refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Undamaged carrots can last 4 weeks or longer when properly refrigerated. Carrots can also be packed in a barrel or large tupperware with moist sand and kept in a cool but not freezing location. Carrots can also be frozen: blanch for 3 minutes, then rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pack into airtight containers such as ziplock freezer bags.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes should ideally be stored at about 55 degrees. Try to choose a spot that is dark, dry and cool. It helps to periodically go through your sweet potatoes and remove any that are showing signs of rotting so others will not spoil.
Butternut Squash: Like sweet potatoes, butternut squash should be stored in a dark, dry cool spot. Butternut will keep fine at room temperature for at least a month and more likely longer. Remember that bruised or damaged squash will deteriorate more quickly.
Beets: Beets can be stored in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. Beets can also be frozen: cover with cold, salted water and boil for 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Slide of skin and cut off root and crown. Slice or dice and place in freezer bags. Winter beets can also be stored for 4-6 months at about 32 degrees.
Celeriac: Do not wash celeriac before storing. Celeriac can be stored in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator for several weeks. For longer term storage, celeriac can also be stored well in a dark spot that maintains a temperature of about 32 degrees.
Parsnips: For short term storage, place unwashed parsnips in a plastic bag in the fridge. For longer term storage, parsnips can be packed in a barrel in moist sand and kept in a very cool but not freezing location. Parsnips can also be frozen. Blanch 1 inch chunks for 2-3 minutes and then run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pack into airtight containers before freezing.
Rutabaga: Rutabaga will store at room temperature for about 1 week. You can also refrigerate rutabaga in plastic bag for 4 weeks or more. For longer term storage, rutabaga can be packed into moist sand and kept in a cool but not freezing location.
Brussels sprouts: For short term storage, refrigerate unwashed sprouts in a plastic bag. Brussels sprouts are best when used fresh, and should retain their color and nutritional value for about 1 week in the fridge. To freeze brussels sprouts, peel outer leaves and soak for 30 minutes in cold, salted water. Cut a shallow X in the bottom of each to hasten and even the cooking process. Scald for 4-5 minutes from the time they are plunged into boiling water. Drain and pack into freezer bags.
Onions: Onions that have been cured for storage will last for several months in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. Warm temperatures and moisture will cause onions to sprout. Chopped raw onions may be placed in freezer bags and frozen although they will lack texture.
Garlic: Like onions, garlic stores well in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place for several months. Warm temperatures will cause garlic to sprout.
We found that the most difficult decision regarding storage was where in our house to store. We have no garage. Our basement never seems to get colder than 64 degrees, regardless of the season. Our attic, however, is very temperamental. In the summer, it's sweltering and we have to run a fan in reverse to force the hot air outside. When you go up there, it's hard to breathe. In the winter, it's so cold that you can see your breath. We decided that the best storage space would actually be the enclosed porch on our second floor. Not the closest to the kitchen, and certainly not my room of choice. I'd eventually like to finish the porch and make a nice little reading nook out there, but as of right now, the porch is really only livable for 2 seasons each year. In the winter and early spring, this space is quite chilly, and this is where our new food storage containers will reside. The cold-weather temperature stays between 50-55 degrees out there, and we plan on combating any sunlight by draping the bins with a blanket to keep them snuggled in the dark.
David and I thought we'd have planned out where the veggies would live well before they found a home with us. I thought briefly of digging big holes in our backyard and sinking trash cans filled with sand or straw and storing them there, but that just felt like too much work. Of course, the day of pick up, we were still discussing where and how we'd store the vegetables. Plenty of blanching and freezing will need to happen, but we're beginning to run out of freezer space! I'm curious to see if I can store veggies in sand over the winter, so I'm going to try out that method also.
I wonder, do you store veggies over the winter months? What's your preferred storage method?