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Home Cooking 5

Winter vegetable storage

Valyn | Dec 27, 2009 02:32 PM

I belong to a winter CSA in Massachusetts and am struggling to find a way to store my vegetables. I'm not new to winter CSAs (this is my third winter) but I still haven't mastered storage of the various veggies, including onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, celeriac, and various winter squashes.

The first year I stored everything in the fridge and kitchen pantry, which frankly just wasn't workable. We have an ordinary sized fridge, so even the half share of the winter CSA overwhelmed the fridge, and the pantry-stored produce quickly rotted. The second year I cleared a space in our dug-out basement, but even in our porous fieldstone 100-year old basement, it was too warm, thanks to all the appliances down there (furnace, oil tank, washer, dryer). Potatoes, onions and garlic sprouted and squashes shriveled.

This year I had big hopes for our bulkhead but a brutal cold snap in mid-December resulted in every single vegetable, except for the garlic, being completely frozen and of course ruined. We thought the bulkhead would work, being colder than the basement but not directly exposed. We were obviously wrong.

I'm hoping some chowhound who lives in a cold climate (and doesn't have a true root cellar) has figured this out and could give me some advice. Thanks!

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