I’ve been mostly just stuffing vegetables from my garden into my larder this fall. Thought I’d take stock.
My larder (Merriam-Webster “a place where food is stored”) is mostly in the basement. It consists of a root cellar (a small ‘fridge), a deep freezer, a couple big baskets, some hanging small baskets, and shelves for jars.
(Wikipedia “Very few modern houses have larders since the convenience of modern grocery stores obviate the need to store food for long periods.” Love that word “obviate” – to make unnecessary.)
My “root cellar” is a small refrigerator we bought a few months ago. I thought seriously about digging a real root cellar out back. I tried keeping roots in bags in the coolest spot in the basement. But in the end, an extra ‘fridge is easiest.
Contents of my ‘fridge: 11 lbs carrots, 12 lbs beets, a few winter radish, 4 heads of cabbage. I’ll soon add the dozen parsnips and several celeriac that are still in the garden.
Contents of my freezer: 2 gallons red sauce, 2 gallons pesto
Baskets: 25 lbs potatoes, lots of squash and pumpkins (~40 lbs), only ~2 lb onions left
Popcorn: 4 pints
How long do vegetables last?
In plastic bags in ‘fridge: (These vegetables will desiccate unless in sealed containers. Check every couple weeks and remove any bad vegetables. Leave bag open a while if there’s too much moisture inside.)
beets: Chiogga 2 months, Lutz and Detroit 3-4 months
cabbage: 3 months
carrots: 3-4 months
celeriac: 6 months
winter radish: 6 months
In cool dry location:
potatoes: Red Gold 2 months, Russet: 6 months
winter squash: 3-6 months
onions: Frontier 3 months
garlic: 3 months
In sealed jars:
popcorn: until its eaten
One reason to take stock now is to get an idea of whether I can use everything before it goes bad. I brought a bunch of squash down to the food pantry last weekend, and may need to bring more. I can’t imagine we can eat all those beets! Better to do it sooner, while its fresh. There was a long line of people picking up food at the pantry last week. Nice to provide them fresh organic produce.
(Back to that word “obviate”. Supermarkets obviate home vegetable gardening. Cheap prepared foods obviate cooking. Cars obviate biking/walking. Modern conveniences obviate just about everything…. )