What do you still have in fresh storage from 2011?

elisa_z5April 30, 2012

Happy May Day! (almost)

I wanted to ask what everyone still has in fresh storage -- things that you harvested in 2011 and have stored in a root cellar, closet, fridge, or kitchen counter.

I'm not asking about anything that is canned, frozen, dried, or overwintered in the garden -- only things that are stored fresh. If you could say what the variety is, that would help too. (to know what types of, say, potatoes, store the best.)

I've got :

onions (Copra and Mars)

potatoes (Kennebec and Yukon Gold --the YG has the least sprouting)

Garlic (hardneck)

pumpkin (Musque de Provence)

Squash (butternut and seminole. Just used the last trombocino last week)

Kohlrabi (the giant green kind)

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Onions developed huge sprouts at least a month ago. I didn't raise enough last summer to store a lot, but I don't think I ever really have anything left by this time of year. At least nothing in edible condition.

How do you store your produce?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:54PM
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I have Rutabaga in the ground still from last Summer. I also have a Rutabaga from last summer in the fridge.

Referring to the giant green Kohlrabi the OP referred to, is it the Superschmelz one that grows 10 lbs?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:15AM
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Onions, potatoes, squash, and some cabbages in the fridge in "Greenbags".

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 5:59AM
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Only hard neck garlic and a few sweet potatoes (korean purple). Neither in great shape for the most part. Potatoes are all planted and storage carrots and cabbage didn't get stored well enough and lost it during the warm spell in March. Onions all got eaten.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:05AM
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Dug the last parsnips yesterday, and pulled up collards after harvesting the buds. We've eaten everything else.

In past years I had a butternut cousin, Tennessee Vining Pumpkin Squash, from Southern Exposure, still edible in July following 55-60 degree winter storage in the basement.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:06AM
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I still have some Copra and Red Zeppelin onions in the fridge from last season. Music garlic is in a paper lunch bag in a cabinet.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Cooked the last butternut squash on Sunday.

One bag of Gala apples left, but they're pretty soft by now.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:58AM
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I have one Jamboree Hybrid pumpkin and one very large Argonaut butternut squash left over from last year. I have plenty of pumpkin and squash frozen already too so I'm not sure what I will do with these.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:21AM
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one winter squash on the mantle--North Georgia Candy Roaster

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:09PM
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My last Watham Butternut Squash was baked last week and only one Copra Onion left on the counter. I am planing on growing more for fresh storeage this year as I ran out out of produce not storage time.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:35PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Onions and a couple sweet potatoes. Garlic was finished up last week. I haven't quite figured out how to do my fresh storage, so those and regular potatoes are all I try to "cellar".

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Actually, the surviving apples are in pretty good shape.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:29PM
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2 giant winter melons from last summer are still sitting on the counter in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:16PM
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I have scallions that overwintered in the ground. They are gigantic. My other veggies were frozen or eaten.

Here is a link that might be useful: giant scallions

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Fun to hear what everyone has, and great to hear about some new varieties of squash and pumpkin that make it through the winter into spring -- thanks all!

Yes, the kolrabi is called Gigante which they say is also referred to by that S word (I can't even spell kohlrabi, so I'm not going there.)

How I store -- first, everything gets cured -- which is normally dried either in the sun or out of the sun according to what it is.

Then -- potatoes cool and humid and dark, which means the cellar.
Onions and garlic dry, cool, airy and dark, which means a big closet in the hallway (I braid them with twine and hang them from the coat rack. Cut one off when I need it.)
Squash -- dry and cool, so on a shelf in a cool part of the house.
Kolrabi started in the root cellar and ended up in the fridge.

I'm impressed that you folks can store sweet potatoes -- when I used to buy them at the store they'd rot in a week!

And I've not mastered the art of storing cabbage. Always end up with rotting, stinky cabbage in my fridge by sometime mid winter. Anyone have the secret?

Copra onions are the bomb. Only one or two of mine have sprouted, and they've come with me in a grocery bag to warm, humid North Carolina.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:12PM
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The good news is that SP's are easy to keep in NC - most of the country's crop is grown and stored there. In florida I find that they keep well left in the ground, but of course that won't work in colder places. Every southern shack in the old days had a potato hole under the floor.

regarding irish potatoes, a deep hole outdoors is unbeatable for storage. They keep much better than a cellar, IME.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:18AM
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Absolutely nothing! With five kids who prefer the fresh stuff out of the garden my stuff is gone in no time. One day...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:24AM
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Pnbrown, you grow SP in MA?? I thought they only grew in the south, except for a recent variety that was developed for the north. I just discovered purple SP this winter in an Asian grocery -- they're delicious! I assume they're the same -- apparently they're native to Okinawa. Mine also rotted very quickly. How did you store them? And, how did you GROW them?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:38AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Sweetpotatoes have been raised up here for generations.
My sweetpotatoes are still keeping good. The Irish potatoes are shrinking a bit. I recently threw out the 40 pound watermelon.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Second the request for cabbage storage tips.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Indeed, Fearing Burr was growing SP in Hingham Ma in the mid-19th century. He records being able to store them well into spring.

I reported on another thread that tubers that I stored in a bin filled with sawdust and kept in a relatively warm basement space have kept well. I failed to store the majority that way, a mistake to be corrected next fall. SP produces well on black fabric here, and less prolifically without.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:56PM
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If I had seen this yesterday, my answer would have been "1 pumpkin". However, I was munching on freshly baked pumpkin seeds and my crockpot is slowly cooking down a whole pot full of yellow/orange material, so yeah... no pumpkin left anymore. ;)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:00PM
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Pnbrown, did you start your own slips of the purple SP, or buy them somewhere? Are they a bush or vining type? I'm blown away by the growing process, which I just read about now.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 12:07AM
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I start a few slips, but buy most of them. I have been pleased with the slips from george's plant farm in TN. I have 5 varieties coming this year, as I didn't care for the Korean Purple as it sat in storage for a while, so much. KP is vining, for sure, the row ended up sprawling about 12 to 15 feet across (of course, it got chicken manure applied before planting, which was not ideal, unless I had wanted to feed a herd of hogs with the foliage!).

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:53AM
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I have early butternut squash, and copra onions. I ran out of Mars, but they were starting to grow anyway. Also garlic, but it too is starting to grow. I had a kohlrabi, but it bolted in the dark in my fridge.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 8:36AM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

African Winter Squash - this one will last for over a year without drying out. It is pretty amazing (and borer resistant).
Choctaw Sweet Potato squash - also lasts forever
Sweet Potatoes - various heirlooms from Sandhill
Garlic - various hardnecks including Music and an unknown, but much loved, variety from PEI.
Carrots - overwintered in the ground, moved into the fridge as the weather warmed up.

I'm impressed with all the Copra onions that are still happy. Next year, maybe I'll remember to eat those last!


    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:02PM
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This is a great thread! I'm interested in growing more storage crops, so it's good to have people's recommendations.

pnbrown, did you originally buy the KP slips from a plant nursery, or did you just grow them out from supermarket SP? I notice George's doesn't sell them.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:09PM
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We just ate some kolrabi tonight, and it had grown a few leaves in the dark of the fridge. I tasted the leaves and the stalk it had grown and they were really delicious. Was wondering if you could force kolrabi in the spring, and get a bunch of these leaves/stalks?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:12PM
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Chipollini onions . I hang them in the garage . Incredible how well they keep .

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:38AM
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I think george calls them by a different name, japanese maybe? I got them from there last year, and I have also sprouted them from grocery tubers.

This year I have 5 varieties coming, all under 100 days. In my climate, starting slips has been difficult - spring is cooler here than most places. The payback is fall is warmer.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 7:37AM
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This is a great thread. I had a very poor winter squash harvest last fall but in 2010 Confection from Johnny's and a Pennsylvania Dutch butternut type lasted well into the spring. Just kept them in the cellar.
Last night we ate just about the last of the beets that were in a bag in the frig. Very sweet. I'm not sure what variety they were.
Here in NH, I also had great luck overwintering Tyee spinach I planted last year (maybe August). It didn't have any special covering. After watering it and finally getting some rain, it's now doing very well. Had some for supper this week. I only pick the outer leaves and will see how long it keeps growing before bolting.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:16PM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

Korean Purple sweet potato slips are available from Sand Hill Preservation center. They are absolutely fantastic and have a very distinct flavor (much better than grocery store sweet potatoes). They also sell out *very* quickly at Sand Hill. I've been trying to get them again for three years (fingers crossed on this year).


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:07AM
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Bellatrix, WOW, thanks for telling us about Sand Hill Preservation! I'm very glad to know about them, will definitely order seeds from them in the future.

Looking at their catalog I see that Korean Purple are NOT the same SPs I tried. They're white inside, while the Okinawan SPs (the ones I had) are purple inside and out. They're delicious, reminiscent of chestnuts. But now that I know you can plant SP up here I'll try the Korean Purple, since you and phbrown say they're so good. The Okinawans are sold out. All this stuff about slips and how to grow them is new to me, which is exciting after 30 years of gardening. There's always more to learn!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 1:57AM
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SandHill does impressive stewardship work, and their little manual on how to grow SP is the best I have seen online. However, I think they are very over-worked and have a hard time with the SP slip-selling business to do on top of everything else. For getting slips of varieties that are uncommon then in many cases they are the only game going, but for more common ones like KP chances of being served promptly are much better with one of the dedicated slip-growers.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 7:29AM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

pnbrown has a good point. When ordering sweet potato slips from Sand Hill think of it more as a lottery, not as "I will definitely get these slips because I placed my order". And order as early as possible (think January). They are a small business, growing in a difficult area for successful SP production. They can have complete crop failures (as in almost no SP slips in a bad year).

However, it is a GREAT way to try unusual, delicious, do-well-in-Northern-states sweet potatoes. If you are starting with no sweet potatoes, hedge you bets by ordering somewhere else too and dumping the common SP slips if you get the Sand Hill SP. But once you have a variety from Sand Hill it is extremely easy to save a few SPs and start your own slips the next year. I did that and am regularly growing Betty, Maryland 810, Orange Oakleaf, HeartoGold, Pumpkin Yam and Willowleaf. They all do well in my Pennsylvanian garden. Someday, I will have Korean Purple and (sigh) Red Wine Velvet again.

By all means, order from Sand Hill! They are an excellent (but with few employees) seed company. Just remember that it will be a slower turn around time for seeds and, for Sweet potato slip, not a guarantee that you will get them.


Here is a link that might be useful: My sweet potato review from 2009

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:00AM
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I have heard of that elusive red wine velvet. Is it all that?

Last summer in my florida garden I had Nancy Hall going gang-busters, by some accounts the best long-season variety. The deer cleaned it out at the worst possible time. In february I found that the plants had managed to make a few tubers after all, but they were all pithy and inedible, probably from the vines re-leafing after deer ate all the foliage. I reset some tubers, with luck they were viable enough to grow a new crop, this time with some fencing around them.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:35PM
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