storing root veggies for winter
Our basement/ cold storage area is starting to look mighty fine. The potatoes are easy, we just dig them, let them dry off a bit ( turning once after a few hours), and pack them into boxes. Onions need to be pulled and cured on screens in the greenhouse, then put into boxes. Carrots are a little more involved, but we eat huge amounts of them all through the winter. Grated for our winter salad of carrots, red cabbage, cave aged cheese and dried cranberries.. we never buy lettuce from some far away place when we can just walk into the basement! The dogs also love their carrots. They each get a carrot for dessert every night.
To harvest carrots, they are pulled and the tops taken off with just a few inches of the green left on. They are allowed to air dry, and turned after a few hours. If just left in a box in the basement they'd sog out really fast. We've tried to store them in sand, sawdust, and hay. But the sure winner for us has been dried maple leaves.The carrots are layered with the leaves in containers.
Using these storage methods, we get firm potatoes, onions and carrots right until early summer.