I've been busy lately putting up fresh produce for our winter stockpile. Many winters I get to January and crave for a fresh apple without having to pay full grocery store out-of-season price. That’s where cold storage comes in. We can stock up on bulk and cheap in-season and end-of-season produce and store it where we will be able to enjoy it for many months to come. In my last article on cold storage I just gave you a frugal idea for cold storage. I plan to experiment more with it here soon. In this article I’m going to be talking about various produce and how long it will last in your cold storage, how it’s best to keep it, and what varieties you should look for to last the longest.
Apples will last from 2 to 7 months in cold storage depending on what variety you choose. It’s best if apples are individually wrapped in newspaper, although you can also just store in a cardboard box or wooden crate. Tart apples will keep longer and better than sweet varieties so look for Fuiji, Pink Lady, Cameo, or Honey Crisp.
Pears will last 2 to 3 months if properly stored. Wrap individual pears in newspaper and ensure they stay stored around 30 degrees. Look for Bosc and D’Anjou.
Potatoes will last for 4 to 6 months. They shouldn’t be stored near apples or any other ethylene-releasing produce. Look for Kennebec or Yukon gold.
Sweet Potatoes should be stored similar to potatoes and will last 4 to 6 months when stored properly. Look for Centennial and Jewell varieties.
Onions should be dry on the outside before they are stored. They will last for 5 to 8 months. You can wrap these with newspaper or use the Pantyhose Onion Storage method. Onions should be stored in a very dry environment and should be allowed to breath in what they are stored in (no plastic). Look for Stuttgarter, Brunswick, Yellow Glove, or Red Burgandy. (No sweet varieties.)
Pumpkins will last for 5 to 6 months when stored with a small portion or their stem still on. Winter Luxury is a good variety to look for.
Squash will last for 4 to 6 months. Look for Delicata, Hubbard, and Butternut.
These are just basic winter storage produce varieties but if you are new to cold storage, these are a good place to start. Once you get the hang of it and get a great system set up you can also learn to store other produce such as radishes, rutabagas, turnips, and more.
What are you storing this winter? What has been your biggest cold storage challenge in the past?
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