Some veggies for long storage (no drying, canning or freezing!) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

You knew this would be from an old Organic Gardening, didn't you? (Sept/Oct 1995), by Jeff Cox.

The author starts with onions, Northern Oak. Says once they had cured in the ground, he braided the dried leaves, tied loops of string on them, and slipped them on poles which were laid on the rafters in a cool back bedroom (about 55 deg.). Cox says they lasted through the fall and winter and into April of the following year. Now he likes Copra for storing, available from Johnny's. Johnny's likes Prince (onion, not the person who was formerly known as). Stokes Seed guy likes Duration, Burpee likes Sweet Sandwich Hybrid.

Store garlic same way as onions. Johnny's choice is NY White.

Leeks also keep well. All varieties are good, apparently.

Shallots--ditto. French Red is recommended.

Winter Squash--store around 50 deg, recommended that you keep them on the floor on thick pad of newspaper and check regularly. Even infinitessimal blemish can turn into severe problem and mush will result. Waltham Butternut is good. So is Delicata, Sweet Potato, Burgess strain, Blue Hubbard and Lakota. Spaghetti squash keeps for 2 months after harvesting.

Tomatoes--Long Keeper from Burpee (Old Git has tried this and it WORKS!). Improved version is Winter Red, nicer color, resistant to diseases. Kept in cool, dark, place, can last up to 12 weeks--some of Old Git's lasted longer. You can also keep your plants producing until January or longer if you wrap them well with big bubble wrap every time frost threatens. Probably won't work up north.

There are more veggues listed but will have to wait for another time.

-- Old Git (, April 09, 1999


Certainly won't work here but a GREAT idea as far as stretching the yeild curve.


-- Chuck, a night driver (, April 09, 1999.

What temperature do you have to maintain in order to keep foods "frozen"?

-- a (a@a.a), April 09, 1999.

Thanks for the info.

We store white potatoes under the house. I use the most remote and coolest portion of the area. There is black plastic on the ground for insulation purposes and we cover it with a layer of straw. Then lay the potatoes on the straw in a single layer, don't let any of the potatoes touch another.

We don't have problems with rodents because of the cats. You can store several veggies like this, and I think it is a pretty good way to store them if you live in a home or mobile home with a dirt floor crawl space.

I used to store apples wrapped individually in newspaper, in a box under the beds. But after we got central heating, the apples got too warm. They kept, but not as long. So for a home with wood heat, this might still work.

Just something to think about; I have learned that foods that you want to store, whether in jars or fresh, need to be stored as low in the house as possible. Heat rises, so keep your foods down low, like in the basement, under the floors and in the ground. Even foods on high shelves can spoil sooner because of heat.


-- sylvia (, April 09, 1999.

Potatoes--Johnny's Seeds likes any of the russet-type potatoes, especially Butte and Yukon Gold. Can be kept all winter without sprouting in right conditions: dark and cool, but no lower than 40. {See Sylvia's excellent advice and suggestions above.) If it's not dark, greenish tinge forms, which means presence of poisonous alkaloids. Store only clean tubers, no nicks, otherwise one will spoil others. Don't wash before storage; wait till dry, brush off dirt. Commercial potatoes are washed with disinfectants (!) to kill bacteria spread by dampness. But don't keep too dry, need some humidity.

Root crops--if no root cellar, use box or tub filled with moist sand. Is important to keep any root crops moist. Trim tops before storing. Specifics:

Carrots, Artist, Rumba and Bolero; all Nantes types; Toudo, Johnny's likes Artist best for sweetness.

Beets, Sweetheart, Red Ace, Formanova, Cylindra.

Rutabagas, Laurentian.

Can also use same procedure for horseradish (Maliner Kren), parsnips, burdock (Takinogawa Long) and Kohlrabi.

Cabbage--harvest young for winter keeping, in Oct/Nov in NY, December in GA. Storage No. 4 is good. Wrap individual heads in newspaper, store in boxes or bins in cold, humid room. (Or, as Sylvia suggests, under the house if it's not too dry.)

-- Old Git (, April 09, 1999.

Appreciated the info and will share experience of using old broken down refridgerators for storage. We do have mice and occaisional rat from our forested home area. We also had unusable refrdgerators that had been stashed behind barn with chains around doors. We moved them to basement and washed well with clorox and let dry. I have used them to store potatoes and a host of other items that varmits could invade. It has been totally successful

-- Old Gramma (, April 09, 1999.

Appreciated the info and will share experience of using old broken down refridgerators for storage. We do have mice and occaisional rat from our forested home area. We also had unusable refridgerators that had been stashed behind barn with chains around doors. We moved them to basement and washed well with clorox and let dry. I have used them to store potatoes, winter squash and a host of other items that varmits could invade. It has been totally successful. I use the plastic bags from grocery to line shelves and keep squash from touching oneanother and put best (nick free) items in back and those to use first in front. Of course we save all tins for storage and keep all foods that varmits can get to safe. I use netting for onion storage and hang it from overhead rafters that are not accessible to varmits. So far have not lost anything save a few boxes of dry noodles I forgot to put away one night. By morning they were gone...except rements of cardboard. Our old ferro cat decided long ago he would rather eat dry cat food...darn anyway! Now when I hear of someone who has a non working fridge or freezer I share experience or if they are a non believer will offer to take it off their hands. We live in earthquake country and figure it is a good idea for safe storage during shakeups.

Keep up the good work friends. I check in at least twice a day and all of you keep me well informed and I do really appreciate it. By the way the fence is almost done and now have to figure out a maize for an area the deer might try to use in order the invade the veg. garden. The chicks are doing great and almost ready to go into the henhouse...if this cold snap will leave our area. Soon will be looking for some new renters and will be asking the question..."do you --getit-- y2k I mean. God Bless...Old Gramma

-- Old Gramma (, April 09, 1999.

a, you asked what temperature is needed to keep foods frozen. I don't do frozen food and the fridge manual didn't come with the house, so I can't look it up. If you still have your manual, I think you'll find some info in there regarding the temp of the freezer part of your fridge.

Chuck, I hope you can grow the Long Keepers or Winter Reds. I picked some in September, year before last, and finally ran out in February, I think it was. I had to throw away a few rotten ones but it was well worth it. The tomatoes aren't quite as good as the ones we pick fresh in the summer but are MILES ahead of the crappy ones we get in winter time. Old Gramma, just the kind of practical info we all need to become a little more self-sufficient, Y2K or not--thanks!

-- Old Git (, April 09, 1999.

except in the north, root crops can also successfully be left in the ground where they grew, just cover them with a thick layer of straw so ground won't freeze, and dig out as needed.

-- jocelyne slough (, April 10, 1999.

Old Git- Is that a squash called Sweet Potato? If so, do you know where I can get seeds? I dearly love sweet potatoes, but they don"t store well (Know any secrets there?) so I am looking for the sweetest winter squash we can grow and store. (Also- to Old Git- I tried to e-mail you to help you re. your sick cats but realized that spamaddress is a joke. But if you still have sick cats get in touch.)

-- Shivani Arjuna (, April 10, 1999.

Printed and archieved for personal file. Thanks

-- Moore Dinty moore (, April 11, 1999.


Organic Gardening is a great magazine and organic is a great way to grow (I prefer the risk of a little extra protein over the risk of carcinogenic insecticides any day). I'll go on record as noting that as of today, we still have 1 spaghetti squash, 2 acorns, and 4 lbs potatos (sprouting pretty good, still can use. Had some last night, still taste fine. Another couple weeks, would need to plant.) These are from our fall harvest keeping nicely in the basement. In our experiece, spaghetti has been a marvelous long term keeper with the hubbards and crook necks being notably more fragile.

They are right on as far regularly checking up on the squash. If one starts to go, it can go bad quickly. I'd use the same precaution for root for bins of root crops. A potato that goes bad can get nasty and slime your others.

The land northern part of the country is now starting to wake form its winter sleep. I havested some tender dandelion greens this weekend. Frost is out of the soil here, tilled the established garden and started the expansion - cool weather crops here we go. Life is good.



-- john hebert (, April 12, 1999.

Nice mood-setter, John. We've had superb weather here in central NC today--bright and warm with a nice breeze. I've potted up some tomato plants bought over the weekend and put more in the tomato patch for a new owner--or us, if we take the house off the market. Spent yesterday rescuing several kinds of daffodils, daylilies and ajuga from a due-to-be-demolished house up the end of the street (street widening, plants will be lost)--took a long time to put all those in pots today.

I've refilled the squirrel feeders, hoping they and the chipmunks will stay out of my strawberries; if not, I have chicken wire to put over them. And I've weeded and straightened up the bed. I'm so glad I took time to tidy up the house yesterday so that I could spend almost the entire day outside today.

Don't know if it's any indication, but it seems to me that at the three plant places I go most, the veggie plants are disappearing much faster than usual. Never seen so many bare shelves. The people buying seem like new gardeners too. I was dying to make a remark about Y2K but stayed my tongue, don't want to get funny looks again!

Another couple of days like this and I shall be caught up on spring work. Oh, that sounds SO much like "famous last words". . .!

-- Old Git (, April 12, 1999.

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