Storage Places

You can store vegetables and fruits in an attic, unheated basement room, cellar, outdoor pit, etc. To figure out what food to store where, use a thermometer to learn temperatures. Any place that is dependably 32-60°F can be used to keep some kind of food; the temperature and humidity of each location determines which kind. A room 4x4x6 feet is large enough for most families. A room 6x7x7 feet will hold about 30 bushels of produce—5 bushels per month for 6 months. An 8 x 10 x 7-foot room will hold about 60 bushels of produce—10 bushels per month for 6 months. A warm Attic: In the fall, dry herbs, beans, walnuts, or hickory nuts here.

Pantry or Unheated Room: This is good for short-term storage of potatoes and long-term storage of onions, spices, vegetable oils, nuts, and commercially canned foods. Low storage temperatures extend the shelf life of dried foods such as dried beans, herbs, dried fruits and vegetables, coffee, flour, rice, pasta, and cereals. Be careful that the room doesn't get below freezing.

For Root Vegetables, Cabbages, Apples, pears: These need very cool, moist conditions. They store well without refrigeration in basements, cellars, outbuildings, and pits, but then you need cool outdoor air to provide the refrigeration. The kind of storage place you need depends much on your climate. Typical root cellar instructions assume outdoor temperatures during winter that average 30°F or lower. You can make do with a combination of cellar, attic, and outbuildings, but nicest of all is to have a "real" root cellar. A proper root cellar can be a little building sitting by itself or adjacent to another building, or it can be a real dirt cellar under an outbuilding. It should be near the house because you will be going there a lot in very cold weather and you don't want a long hike. NOTE: Don't store live food in or near a garage, unless it is wrapped so that it will be fully protected from car emissions, which produce will absorb.

Heated House Basement: a well-ventilated basement under a house with central heating generally is dry and has a temperature range of 50-60°E It is fine for ripening tomatoes and for short-term storage of pumpkins, winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions. Insulated Basement Storage Room. To store vegetables and fruits over winter in a basement that has a furnace, you would have to partition off a room and insulate it from the heat source. Build the room on the north or east side of the basement, if practicable, and don't have heating ducts or pipes running through it. You need at least one window for cooling and ventilating the room. Two or more windows are desirable, particularly if the room is divided for separate storage of fruits and vegetables. Shade the windows in a way that will prevent light from entering the room. Equip the room with shelves and removable slatted flooring. These keep vegetable and fruit containers off the floor and help circulation of air. The flooring also lets you use water or wet materials (such as dampened sawdust) on the floor to raise the humidity in the room. It's safest to store vegetables and fruits in wood crates or boxes rather than in bins, although my friend Imogene winters her carrots all in a big barrel and they do fine.

Cellar Under House Without Central Heat:

Cellars under houses without central heat have long been used successfully for winter storage of fruits and vegetables in colder parts of the United States. These cellars usually have an outside entrance and a dirt floor. The door is a means of ventilating the cellar and regulating the temperature. Some cellars have no windows. If there is a window, it aids in ventilation and temperature control. If the cellar has separate compartments for vegetables and fruits, then you need at least two windows, one for each compartment. Shade the windows in a way that will prevent light from entering the cellar. Light causes potatoes to turn green and become bitter. Insulate the ceiling so cold air will not chill the house.

Continue reading here: Outof House Storage

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