Farm Aid Ottawa is a farming blog dedicated to small and organic farmers who are as enthusiastic growing food and the life of the farmer. In our articles we will share guides for all aspects of farming, tips and advice on making important decisions that all farmers face, and comments on the latest news and trends that affect us.
We’ll also share stories from farmers and others involved in the industry, giving real insight into how our world works and what we all might have to face.
Tips For Vegetable Storage
One thing many people don’t realize is how difficult it can be to reliably store food in large quantities, as farmers have to do each harvest. It all depends on what types of crop you are growing, which is why this article will focus on vegetables — meats, eggs, grain, and other types of food present a much different problem, and we’ll deal with them in their own articles.
The first thing you need to do is figure out how you are going to pack the vegetable, and again there is variation as far as the most effective method (depending on the specific food). Here’s a quick list to use for reference:
- Potatoes — pile them dried and unwashed in clean boxes made of wood or wax cardboard
- Carrots, beets, and similar root vegetables — pack them bare in a single layer in a wood or wax cardboard box
- Winter squash — Wrap each single squash in cloth or paper and do not pile them on top of each other
- Onions and garlic — only pack away once fully mature and cured. Don’t wash them, store them in mesh bags or boxes
For other types of vegetables, you can contact us with your questions or reach out to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
This is the most difficult part of storing large quantities of food for any length of time, especially if you need to store different kinds of perishable produce. Different types of food requires different conditions as far as light, temperature, and air moisture is concerned.
All root vegetables, various salad greens, fresh herbs, and other foods like eggplants, peppers, and zucchini are best stored in refrigerated areas that are high in moisture or humidity. Meanwhile, tomatoes, winter squash, onions and potatoes are best stored in the dark and cool at room temperature.
For either type of storage options, it’s important that the conditions of the storage space be carefully regulated so they do not change or vary. It’s advisable to invest in high quality HVAC systems for your storage areas to ensure the maximum storage life of your foods.