The following garden produce storage tip is from
How to Store Your Garden Produce: The key to self-sufficiency by Piers Warren .
- Harvest produce for storage in its peak condition.
- Handle produce carefully – bruised fruit and vegetables will rot quickly.
- If you have to process your produce in some way before storage (e.g. the freezing of peas) do this immediately after harvesting, as enzymes can get to work very quickly and reduce the quality of the product.
- Some varieties store better than others – if you are growing some crops for storage, research your varieties first.
- Do not store near strong-smelling substances or hazardous chemicals – often a problem when storing in a garage or garden shed. Creosote-flavoured potatoes are not my favourite.
- Always label any stored produce with a description of contents and the date of preserving or storing.
- Check your stored produce regularly – remove any that is rotting to reduce the chance of it spreading.
- Plan what you store (and therefore grow) according to your family’s tastes. There’s little point in storing twenty pumpkins if your family is bored with eating them after two or three.
- The priority should always be to EAT the freshest produce while fresh, then store the excess. If you have a freezer full of year-old broccoli, you have simply grown too much broccoli.
- As well as storage techniques, extend your growing season, if you can, using a greenhouse, polytunnel and/or cold-frames. You will be eating fresh produce for longer, and can grow a wider range of varieties.