The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Storage cabbage

Winter cabbageKeeping storage vegetables fresh through the winter is an art as much as a science, and I generally have to learn the idiosyncracies of each species to get the best result.  We seem to have worked the kinks out of sweet potatoes, garlic, and butternut squash, which carry us through until spring, and the carrots in the fridge root cellar are currently crisp and delectable and seem likely to last just as long.

We've got a bit of a learning curve left with our cabbage, though.  I pulled the second-to-last head out of the fridge root cellar on Christmas, and the outer leaves were slimey and rotten (although the center was still good).  I suspect the issue there was harvest time --- I wasn't quite sure what to do with all of our cabbages before we resurrected the fridge root cellar, so I left them out in the garden during a hard freeze.  The cabbage I Cut cabbageharvested just before that freeze was top notch, but the one I cut into a few days later was not quite so crisp or sweet.  Next year, I'll be more careful to take in the cabbages before temperatures drop into the 20s (and to plant more of them since they've made a great addition to the uncooked veggie side of our winter meals).

We still haven't eaten much of our preserved produce because the garden is churning out plenty of lettuce, arugula, kale, Asian greens, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts, in addition to the contents of our fridge root cellar and kitchen shelves.  I can envision a time in the future when we won't preserve anything at all and will subsist entirely on fresh food all winter.  I'd miss my tomato-based soups though....

The Avian Aqua Miser is a POOP-free waterer that makes care of the backyard flock quick, easy, and fun.
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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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