Saturday, November 3, 2012

Storing Root Crops

This week has not exactly gone as I had hoped or planned.
With my old Honda Civic demanding a bit of cash outlay to keep it on the road over the past few months, I sensed it was time to find a new (used) vehicle. A 16 year old vehicle is deserving of a rest.
In the back of my mind was my dad's voice telling me that buying a used vehicle is like buying someone else's problems.
It seems he could be right. My first week with my new car has not been the best. It refuses to start at times which is never a good sign. And after all the rain I found a puddle on the rear carpet. Not just dampness...a puddle.
I relicensed the Honda and am trying to deal with the rest.

Thank God for a good root crop harvest, a bright spot in a less than stellar week. I may not get where I need to go, but I'll have food to eat. Might as well look on the sunny side. I guess.

It's true though. I have lots of roots. Far more than we will eat or I will sell in the short term.
Carrots, beets, turnips and radishes as well as a bit of kohlrabi.

Big beets, Mollie!
In the ideal world (which is not my world) the rains would not have come when they did.

The carrot patch

I would have preferred the carrots to stay in the ground through a number of heavy frosts to sweeten them up a bit. As it was though they were sitting in a low spot and when they were dug up it was clear they were sitting in water and would rot. So...out they all came.
When we dug them they were very, very muddy and wet.
In storage wet carrots simply won't last, so we laid them out in the small hoophouse to dry up. I was glad for the cloudy skies and cool temperatures for this process.
The green tops need to be snapped off all storage root crops before tucking them away, so while they were drying I began this process with the carrots. I also don't wash the veg before they are stored. They store better with the dirt on them

Today I got the vast majority of the carrots stored. I placed some dry straw in the bottom of large plastic bins, put in a layer of the carrots, added another layer of straw, more carrots and continued this way till the bin was full, with the top layer being straw.

I put lids on the bins, because if I don't I have no doubt the mice will get in and nibble away.
Nothing more wonderful too than reaching in a bin for a carrot and finding a mouse.

This works for all root crops, as well as the kohlrabi, but with it, I pull up root and all and leave it on for storage. Cabbage stores extremely well this way too, root and all layered in straw.

I store the bins in my cold garage, and anticipate the crops will last well into the spring.
It could be that this year the garage is full of bins, and it might as well be.
Who knows-I may not have a car!


Chez Nous Farms said...

Your carrots look beautiful! Where can we get some?

Linda said...

Thanks for your interest-I'm going to start opening on the weekend between now and Christmas, blog post to follow about this-or just call and let me know when you would like to come!