Storing Bulk Fall Vegetables

It’s the time of year in New England to start thinking about purchasing bulk produce for storage.  In a couple months you’ll be thankful you have stored fresh produce.  Everyone will be doing different math to figure out how much to buy.

Things to consider

* typical use – amount consumed by my family each week, then  multiply by length of storage for the vegetable  i.e. we use 2# of potatoes each week, Yukon Golds store ~ 3 months:  2# x 12 weeks = 24# potatoes

* seasonal recipes – this is a great time to find new or go back to old recipes that use seasonal ingredients.  Some recipes you may make a lot during the fall or winter, which would increase how much of that product you may use.

* holidays – what am I making/bringing

* gifts – local, seasonal gift baskets are well received – you can put it together or have your friendly farmer!  (i.e. winter squash, pumpkin, maple syrup with a recipe or baking pan or dish or a potato lovers basket (potatoes with jars of different toppings – chives, bacon bits, etc)

 

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin

Nutrition Benefit: Excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Good source of potassium.

Storage: store in cool/warm (50-60oF), dark and 50-70% humidity. Keep dry. Do not store on a cold or concrete floor. Make sure air can circulate well around the squash.

Store separately from fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas i.e. apples, pears, potatoes

Do not let it freeze – if the squash freezes, it will decrease the shelf life.

Translation: try storing in a single layer (do not stack) on shelves (not on the floor) in a basement; or depending on the layout of your house, an entryway might also work.

Shelf life: 2-4 months

How much to buy? If you make 1 squash a week from November – January, you should buy 12 butternut squashes. If you use extra over the holidays, for roasting, pies, etc, add x on to that. May be a heavy load bringing it home, but you’ll be thankful you did!

previous butternut squash post with recipes

 

Acorn Squash

Nutrition Benefit: good source of vitamin C and potassium and fat free

Storage: store in cool/warm (50-55oF), dark, and 50-70% humidity. Keep dry. Do not store on a cold or concrete floor. Make sure air can circulate well around the squash.

Store separately from fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas i.e. apples, pears, potatoes

Do not let it freeze – if the squash freezes, it will decrease the shelf life.

Translation: try storing on shelves (not on the floor) in a basement; or depending on the layout of your house, an entryway might also work.

Shelf life: 1-3 months

Fun Fact: Acorn squash can come in yellow, tan, dark green and orange.

 

Potatoes

Nutrition Benefit: excellent source of vitamin C. good source of vitamin B6, potassium and fiber (if the skin is consumed).

Store: Store in cool (40-50oF), dark, well-ventilated area.

Do not store with onions or garlic.

If they start to sprout, cook asap.

Translation: Try storing in a wooden crate (clementine crates also work well and they already have holes in them!) . Can store in unheated closet, root cellar or basement.

Shelf life: 2-3 months

 

Sweet Potatoes

Nutrition Benefit: excellent source of vitamins A and C. good source of fiber.

Culinary: they are versatile as they can be used in sweet or savory applications. Sweet potatoes provide amazing color, taste and nutritional bang to meals.

Storage: Store at 50-60oF, 80-85% humidity, dark, well-ventilated area.

Translation: Store in crate or box in pantry or basement. If storing in basement, may want to cover with a plastic bag (be sure to poke plenty of holes in it for good ventilation) to help increase humidity, but make sure the potatoes stay dry.

Shelf life: 1 month

Information from University of Illinoise Extension – Storing Sweet Potatoes and Alabama Cooperative Extension

History of sweet potato including why sweet potatoes are not related to potatoes or yams!

 

Resources:

Maine Organic Farmers Association Recommended Storage Temps

University of Minnesota Extension

Oregon State Extension

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Veggie Info and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s