Storage Crop Season Has Arrived!

It is time to stock up on storage crops from your local farmers market!

It is time to stock up on storage crops from your local farmers market! by Linda Cottin

With cool weather upon us, the traditional growing season is creeping to a halt and most farmers markets are preparing to roll up the sidewalks and hibernate until spring. Savvy shoppers know that this is the time to take an extra bag or two to market and stock up on hardy winter storage crops. Winter storage crops can help see you through the winter months by providing nutritious, local produce for months after the ground has frozen. Cool storage crops can be stored in dark, mildly moist areas where the temperature ranges from 45 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit for several months. Cold storage crops do better in temperatures ranging from 32 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Basements, closets, areas beneath the stairs and back porches serve well as winter storage areas, depending on the crop and the area’s ambient temperature.

Sweet potatoes can be stored for up to a year when kept in a well ventilated location with 85% humidity and a temperature range between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sweet potatoes can be stored for up to a year when kept in a well ventilated location with 85% humidity and a temperature range between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. by Linda Cottin

Cool storage crops include garlic, onion, potatoes and winter squash. Store these crops in mesh bags or boxes in a cool, dark, moderately humid area, such as a basement. Store potatoes, unwashed, in cloth covered baskets, or place them in a sturdy container and cover with dirt. Many farmers and food enthusiasts with limited storage space find winter squash store quite well in boxes under a bed.

Pears and apples can be store for several months when individually wrapped and stored at a temperature between 32 - 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pears and apples can be store for several months when individually wrapped and stored at a temperature between 32 - 45 degrees Fahrenheit. by Linda Cottin

Cold storage crops include apples, beets, cabbage, carrot, parsnip, pear, radishes, rutabaga and turnips. All of these crops can be kept refrigerated for up to two months. Wrapping fruits individually in paper will absorb access moisture and protect the good fruits from ones that may go bad. Create a natural refrigerator by packing produce into a sealed container filled with damp sand. This works especially well with root crops such as carrots or turnips.

A wide variety of local produce is available at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market on Thursdays - through October.

A wide variety of local produce is available at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market on Thursdays - through October. by Linda Cottin

This week at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market you will find a wide selection of winter storage crops. There will be winter squash, pumpkins, apples, pears, onions, garlic and beets. Several farmers will have winter greens, including kale, chard, collards and arugula. Bakers will have a sweet supply of breads, pizza crusts, muffins, coffee cakes, pies, and more. Wakarusa Valley Farm will have local mushrooms and Nut Nation will be on hand with samples of their delicious pistachios. Backyard Produce will be there with fresh micro greens and Nut Nation will be there with samples of their locally flavored pistachios. Avery’s Produce will be roasting peppers again. Roasted peppers and cut up unroasted peppers can easily be frozen for future use.

Pepper roasting is a great method to store this year's bounty of peppers.  Roasted peppers can be added to almost any dish for added flavor and increased deliciousness!

Pepper roasting is a great method to store this year's bounty of peppers. Roasted peppers can be added to almost any dish for added flavor and increased deliciousness! by Linda Cottin

This week’s hot food vendor will be the Eudora High School Culinary Team. The team, lead by former Free State Brewing Company Head Chef, Rick Martin, will make their first foray into the retail side of the food business. The students will be grilling up fresh local beef or bison burgers and serving them on fresh baked bread, made with local Kansas flour. Condiments will include, Alma cheese, Eudora High Culinary Art Student’s pickles, house made ketchup and mustard. The students are also hoping to make homemade potato chips!

Pickett, Paul and Jeans entertain patrons and vendors at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market, Thursdays, from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm.

Pickett, Paul and Jeans entertain patrons and vendors at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market, Thursdays, from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm. by Linda Cottin

Pickett, Paul and Jeans, Lawrence’s hottest new acoustical trio, will set the market mood with their traditional and eclectic mix of blues, jazz and old timey songs.

Come join the fun at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market, this Thursday, September 21, 2012 from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market is located in the back parking lot of Cottin’s Hardware & Rental, 183 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS.

Tagged: Eudora High Culinary Arts, Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market, storage crops, Paul and Jeans, Pickett

Comments

George_Braziller 1 year, 7 months ago

If you have carrots in your garden just leave them in the ground and throw some leaves or straw on top. You can harvest them all winter. They're biennial so they're genetically coded to so they can flower and set seed the second year. The mulch isn't to protect the carrots, it's just to keep the ground from freezing solid so you can pull or dig them up.

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