Farmers of all stripes struggle to store their crops properly during the winter. Thankfully, there are countless different ways to store fruits and vegetables.
You don’t have to get rid of your overstock just because it’s cold out. Here are some tips for storing fruits and vegetables over the winter.
Sort Through Which Crops You Want To Store
Before you start putting your fruits and vegetables in storage, it helps to sort through your current bundle and eliminate any unnecessary waste. You don’t want to use valuable storage materials on fruits and vegetables that could rot and spoil the bunch, so you should discard any unsightly or dirty crops.
If there are any food banks nearby, you can separate the ones that are still edible and donate them. Sometimes, crops don’t grow into the best shape but are still perfectly edible. You may want to give them away or keep them for yourself.
Separate Your Fruits and Vegetables by Storage Type
Next, go through each type of fruit and vegetable that you harvested and separate them by each type of storage. Vegetables typically only need a storage space that’s cold, dark, and dry with suitable ventilation to prevent rotting.
Boxes and wooden crates are perfect for storing your crops, but a simple cardboard container could also work. If you want to stack your boxes or crates to create more room, make sure there are holes for air to circulate through. Otherwise, your crops won’t be able to breathe and will perish prematurely.
Also, note that some crops don’t go well with others when you store them in the same room. For example, apples emit a gas that makes potatoes sprout, so you don’t want to store them together. Instead, consider some reasons to store potatoes in potato sacks.
Freeze Everything Else
The best way to preserve your fruits and vegetables is to freeze them if you can. But before you freeze them, make sure you store them in appropriate quantities so you can defrost them easily when you want to consume or sell them.
If you want your vegetables and fruit to be in the best freezing condition, freeze them immediately after you harvest them and keep them in an airtight freezer bag so they don’t suffer from freezer burn. Finally, learn which fruits and vegetables you need to blanch before freezing, so the frozen water doesn’t affect the consistency when it comes time to defrost them.
Overall, your food can last quite a while when you store it correctly. Now that you know some of the best tips for storing fruits and vegetables over the winter, you can start preparing for next season.