It is hard to believe that there are only three more pickups to go! With the harvest coming to an end, it is important to remember that you can keep a lot of your vegetables for weeks and even months if stored properly. There is a reason why the harvest includes a lot of root vegetables, winter squash and other things that are known to last a long time. While most homes and apartments don’t have root cellars where many things were kept before refrigeration, there are several techniques you can try at home as you stock up on as many goodies as you can before the farm season ends.
Contrary to popular belief, the refrigerator isn’t always the best place for everything. The high humidity can cause rot and putting certain vegetables together in the same space can affect the flavor. When placing items on your counter, make sure to use containers that are well ventilated, like wire mesh, baskets or even cardboard boxes with holes in it.
The list below tells you how long some things will last if kept in ideal conditions:
Potatoes (4-9 months) / Sweet Potatoes (4-6 months): Place in a ventilated container but try to block as much light as possible to prevent the potatoes from turning green. Keep them in a consistent, cool temperature of about 50 degrees.
Onions (4-6 months) / Shallots (4-6 months): Keep in a basket in a cool dark place. If the temperature fluctuates too much or if they are in direct sunlight, they may begin to sprout.
Winter Squash (varies in variety, 2-6 months): Keep in a cool (around 55 degrees), dark place.
Carrots (4-5 months): Carrots enjoy higher humidity, but risk rotting if there is too much condensation in its storage container. I recommend storing in a plastic bag with a paper cloth inside to wick up any extra moisture. Place the bag in your crisper in your fridge.
Purple Top Turnips (2-4 months): Similar to carrots, turnips like high humidity but not too much moisture. Keep in a plastic bag with a paper towel in your fridge. Also, be sure to trim any remaining bits of greens off the top.
Cabbage, Napa (1-2 months) and Storage (4-5 months): Do not remove outermost leaves until ready to use and place cabbage in a plastic bag in your crisper.
Daikon Radishes / Watermelon Radishes (2-4 months): Trim off any excess greens and tap root, place clean or dirty in a plastic back in the fridge.
I hope your share carries over into the winter months!
Until next time,