I store a wide variety of vegetables over the cold months. It’s an investment in time and money, so it’s in my best interest to pick the longest storing vegetables I can. If you’re thinking of buying some bulk storage vegetables for winter, (or, let me push you a little here, growing your own!) You’ll want to keep a few things in mind.
First you want to make sure you can store them properly so they last as long as possible. Winter squash need temperatures similar to comfortable room human room temperature. I have cabinet space in a dark corner of my kitchen, not next to any heat sources, for my winter squash. Potatoes can handle slightly colder temps, 35-40 is the magic zone, warmer than that and they’ll sprout too early, colder than that and you risk freeze damage. That temp is prime for garlic and onions too. Carrots need cool and damp.
If you’re harvesting your home grown potatoes for storage, REMEMBER – they are still alive after you harvest them. I left one of my potato harvests in a curing spot that got too much sun, and I turned the whole batch green. Boooo…. Even after curing, the potato storage spot needs to be as dark as possible.
The other factor in this practice is choosing the best vegetables you can. With winter squashes you want blemish free skin and some weight, with the stem still attached. Onions need to be well dried and pungent in odor. Garlic needs to be papery dry.
Don’t forget to plan out maintenance for your stored foods. You’ll want to touch base on all of them every week or two. Cull the bad ones, keep track of stock remaining percentages.
And remember, you want vegetables that will store a while, but not forever, store what your family will eat, and eat what you store! Prep smart y’all. How are your stores rounding out? Notice anything missing in your area this year?
Sound off in the Comments!
– Calamity Jane