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

Finding space for the storage vegetables

Convertible bathtub

The frost-free date is fast approaching --- time to take those storage vegetables inside!

Storage vegetablesUnfortunately, the butternut closet that Mark made me last year quickly filled up with odds and ends over the course of the summer once its original inhabitants had gone into goat and human bellies. I cleaned out two-thirds of the space, but wanted to leave the towels and sheets on the top shelves for safe keeping. So what was I to do with the other 2.5 bushels of sweet potatoes and butternut squash?

For now, the least likely specimens are living under the counter atop the convertible bathtub and under the dining table (not yet in use since we're still dining on the porch). I'm feeding the starchy food sources to Artemesia as fast as I can, both to get weight back on our goat before she's bred and to clear up the floor space before cold temperatures drive us back inside. Despite living amid my goat fodder, I find it hard to complain about four bushels of sweet potatoes and nearly an equal number of butternut squash. The garden certainly did a good job this year when it comes to storage vegetables!

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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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Hi Anna and Mark,

Is part of your property dry enough to build a 'clamp', a long underground tunnel lined with straw? I assume you both are very familiar with this technique? Kinda old but it would seem to be a nice way to keep the extra produce around?

warm regards to you both, John

Comment by John Sun Oct 9 14:05:02 2016
John --- We have experimented with clamps, although the results weren't very good during our cold, wet winters. That said, you should be very leery about preserving either of the storage vegetables mentioned in this post in a clamp or root cellar regardless of your climate. Both sweet potatoes and winter squash like it warm and dry and will quickly rot in typical root-cellar conditions. Please check out Weekend Homesteader: October for more information about storage requirements.
Comment by anna Sun Oct 9 14:55:14 2016
We store sweet potatoes under the bed, cool on the floor so just about the right temperature.
Comment by Katherine Tue Oct 11 21:44:44 2016

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