Thursday, March 10, 2011

Storing Carrots

Last week at the cabin my goal was to dig up the last of my annual crops in the floating garden and prepare the soil for the coming season. My efforts were thwarted by rain, wind and frozen ground. But I was able to clear one bed of Swiss chard and carrots.

The chard gave me enough good leaves for a pot of soup. The carrots were another story. I got lots of crisp ones to preserve for later use.

First I pulled all of my remaining crop and discarded any damaged ones. I removed and composted all the carrots tops. I arranged the unwashed carrots on newspaper to dry a bit. It was so wet and windy outside, this year I did it overnight on the kitchen floor. In the morning, I rubbed off the excess dirt with a dry paper towel.

The next step was to arrange the cleaned (not washed) carrots in plastic trays I purchased at the Dollar Store. OK, it was hard not to engage in a bit of vegetable humour by making Veggie Man with a fanged carrot and a leftover beet.

The open sides of the plastic tray allow air to circulate. This helps reduce mold or rot as time goes by. I started with a damp paper towel on the bottom covered by a folded sheet of dry newspaper. The damp towel helps increase atmospheric moisture which helps keep the root crops crisper while being stored out of the ground. After one layer of veggies I folded a sheet of newspaper and then added a second layer to each basket.

The final step was to cover the top layer of carrots with folded newspaper, a layer of moist paper towel and finally another folded newspaper. To store the baskets, I place them under the bed in my downstairs guest bedroom. It is the coolest room in my cabin.

This improvised "root cellar" lets me keep my carrots for several more months of enjoyment in salads, soups, and stews. -- Margy

7 comments:

  1. I've heard of people putting their money under the mattress, but never their carrots! Thanks for the tips on storing carrots, hopefully I will have enough to be able to store them later in the year xx

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  2. You are pulling carrots from the garden now? You really are a lot warmer there! I had no idea!~

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  3. We sure can't let vegetables over-winter in the ground here, but it's interesting to hear about your storage method. You are a lot more ambitious than I am.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  4. Thats a neat storing tip. Do you have to keep damping the paper towels?

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  5. We've got a closet in our front foyer that isn't insulated but backs up to our garage and we use it to store potatoes, etc. during the winter. It never freezes in there but stays quite cold.

    I love how you layered everything and used those plastic bins. Very clever!

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  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by to comment.

    Pacy - Yes, I do go back and moisten the paper towel every few weeks. I don't want the carrots to get too moist and rot, but I also don't want them to dry out and get limp before their time.

    Margy

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  7. I had no idea that you could do that to carrots. Great idea!

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