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Author Topic: How do you store your crops for winter?  (Read 10919 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
How do you store your crops for winter?
« on: September 07, 2010, 11:53:55 am »
Now it's harvest time in the veggie garden, I'm wondering how everyone stores theirs.  I freeze a lot and make preserves, but it's the potatoes, beetroot, carrots, onions and so on that I always have problems with. 
I have tried various methods with potatoes - they have to be hanging up or the wretched rodents get them, but then the frost gets them instead.  We don't have the mythical 'frost free shed', in fact even the inside of the house isn't totally frost free in the coldest depths of winter.  Last year we left some tatties in the ground and they survived when the ones hanging up in hessian sacks were all frosted.  Onions and other alliums I tend to store in the kitchen, but there's not really room. Squashes are stored in the hall, where it's cool.   I haven't had beetroot to store before but this year there are so many that I will have to try storing them in sand, but don't know how to keep the rodents away.  Yes we trap and poison them and we have a cat and terriers, but there's always a sneaky one which finds our stored foods.
Has anyone used a clamp for storing potatoes and if so how did you keep the rodents out.  Is it a nuisance opening the clamp every time you need some tatties?
Where do you hang your onion strings?
 
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Samantha

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Bristol
    • Merry Meet
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2010, 04:59:58 pm »
Hey there ...

Clamping is a good way to store root veg... put a layer of sand in a box .. put in veg... pack with more sand .. rinse and repeat until the box is full .. should help keep root veg nice for quite a while ... I know some other stuff you can "Heel in" into the soil but don't know what you can do it with apart from leeks lol

Sam

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 10:48:38 pm »
Potatoes can be frozen when cooked or par boiled.  I don't have much freezer space, so I'll try the sand box for root veg this year, does the sabd have to be moist or dry? Does it matter what kind of sand? :&>

Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010, 07:54:31 am »
Can't help with the rodents, sorry.
We hang our onions/garlic in the garage - useful as hanging space is the ony space left in there! We've also hung them in the workshop before. And I do bring a string of each into the kitchen to keep them handy.
We thought of the sand storage this year but we don't really need to because we have the freezer space.

Samantha

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Bristol
    • Merry Meet
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2010, 09:00:55 am »
funny enough I picked up the tip from Jamie .. and it was just regular builders sand (sharps sand i think he called it) and it was just put in and kept dry

I have a large chest freezer which i can usually fit most things into but I use this for when I run over ... Let me know how it works out for you :)

Sam 

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2010, 11:22:53 am »
I have two chest freezers and two uprights  ::)  The chest freezers are full of sheep  :D  The uprights are full of stored veg (beans and suchlike) and fruit, so there is no room for the kind of thing which can be stored easily by another method. Our sheds and workshop are not frost free at all.  One year I stored a huge crop of potatoes in sacks surrounded by straw bales - it kept the frost out but not the mice, and it was such a nuisance to take it to bits then build it back up every time I needed more tatties. 
For the potato clamp, I meant the kind you build outside on the ground, in a big mound with straw and packed earth, and a vent hole in the middle.  From my experience last year with the tatties left in the ground surviving minus 15 temps whereas the stored ones were frosted, I think the clamp might be worth a try, but it would just be one huge feast for every mouse and vole in the neighbourhood.  I think it's Bob Flowerdew (brilliant name) who uses old freezers to store crops in - trouble is, I don't have any old freezers  :D I expect to have about 100 plants worth of tubers to store, and they cropped heavily this year, so it's quite a lot of spuds !
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 07:47:30 pm »
Mostly in the freezer. Potatoes hung up in nets in a cold dark room. Onions on strings outside in one of the darker outbuildings.

Then of course chutneys etc.

Love the way the Victorians did it all but I've so much to organise it's one of those things I've never managed to achieve.....

 :'(

jennie

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • UK
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2010, 11:06:59 am »
Nice tip given by fleecewife.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2010, 01:03:08 pm »
trouble is, I don't have any old freezers 

How about Freecycle?  Surely somebody must have an old knackered chest freezer or fridge that they'd happily see the back of?  (Incidentally, our old chest freezer is now a hot composter, which works exceptionally well seeing as it is so well insulated.)
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 01:44:27 pm »
tell me more , womble! :&>

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2010, 08:14:51 am »
I only work on the croft so plenty of time this time of year for doing a chest freezer full of soups, sauces, ready chopped onions in portion sized bags etc. I also pickle and jam veg. Last year I left alot of veg such as carrots in the plot and they survived well untill spring when they started to throw another growth off! I do not store out of ground as we are too damp up here . They did used to clamp a lot up here but now rats are in Shetland I would not risk it.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2010, 10:09:00 am »
.........I think it's Bob Flowerdew (brilliant name) who uses old freezers to store crops in........

Interesting but I don't quite understand how the old freezer thing works. When a fridge or freezer is turned off they go horrible and mouldy, musty and smell really unpleasant.

 ???
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 10:24:08 am by OhLaLa »

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 02:31:28 pm »
i'd imagine it's just a case of keeping the lid open, filling it full of old compostable stuff, kitchen scraps and paper - same as normal compost and then just leaving it to rot down.  becuase of the structure of the freezer, i would think it owuld compost quicker as the heat can build up better.  actually now i think about it, i imagine the lid would be down from time to time too

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 09:45:18 pm »
We have the same problem with our tatties and carrots. My onions this year were tiny - to many weeds early on and too dry in June... Our potatoes are in sacks in our hallway/vestibule as in the garage the mice will get teh - btw can mice fly? evenm when we put things so out of reach that they oculd only get to them by doing backwards somersaults they still get there!!! - Carrots are in sand in the polytunnel, found mice didn't get into those last year (but the frost did!!!). So we are planning to build a mesh (v fine mesh) cupboard using some of our old IKEA shelving for the garage...

Freezers are full of  meat, fruit, goats milk and peas etc, no space for anything that could possibly be stored otherwise...

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: How do you store your crops for winter?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 10:35:05 pm »
Beetroot is easy - boil, slide the skins off, chop, put in sterilised jars, fill with vinegar, put lid on!
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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