Saturday, October 19, 2013

presevring the harvest

Living this far north, spring comes late, summers are short and winters are long. Vegetable storage is going to be an issue. I need a good system that will keep our veggies through the eight months of winter. I would like to be able to keep veggies from the end of one growing season to the start of harvesting fresh veggies from the garden the following year. I preserve a good portion of the garden and freeze a small portion of it. The roots vegetables, however are another issue to keep through the winter.  We don't have a root celler and I don't think anybody in the area does. Some folks who are fortunate enough, do have a cold rooms.

On our very first farm, we had a pump house, and our water system was in there. We kept the pump house sitting at 5 degrees Celcius throughout the winter using a portable heater. Our potatoes, onions and carrots kept exceptionally well at that temperature.  On this farm, we are fortunate enough to have our garage heated, and our water system is also located in it. Last year we kept it around the 5 degree mark and the water pump and pressure tank didn't freeze.

This year, time seem to run out on us, but the plan is to build a cold room in a corner of the garage. For now we put two wood pallets on the concrete floor and our potatoes are sitting on top of that in used grain sacks. Our onions are in a mesh bag, and hanging from a nail on the wall. In the past, we had layered our carrots in sand inside five gallon pails. I had an older gentleman suggest to me, to try layering our carrots with peat moss-which we are trying. There was a ten foot tall metal shelving unit the previous owners left behind, which we are storing our pumpkins, and squashes on.

 I don't know if hubby will have time through the winter to work on a cold room, but we are hoping with what we have done will help to preserve our vegetable crop.

How to do you store your root crops and squashes through the winter?

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