My improved cold storage

One of my goals this fall was to improve my cold storage area.  Last year, I had success storing root crops in a cooler in my garage but by early February the vegetables were starting to get soft.  Although the vegetables were still edible they weren't all that appealing to cut up or eat raw.  We used most of what we stored in soups or stew but this year I wanted to see if I could do better.

Before starting my project I did a lot of research on cold storage ideas.  There are a lot of ideas out there!  However, most of the ideas out there were too complex for me.  I read about burying refrigerators, burying five gallon buckets, creating a cold storage room with the use of an air conditioner to cool.  All of these ideas would work but are too complex for me. 

One idea I did come across was to use plastic totes filled with sand.  The idea is very simple.  Put down a layer of sand, then veggies, then more sand.  Keep going until you reach the top of the tote or run out of veggies to store. 

After reading about this idea, I decided I would try it.  I already had a bunch of plastic totes around the house and I had access to sand.  I took the totes I had and layered them with sand and veggies.  The idea worked great.  I stored turnips, rutabagas, beets and carrots this year.  It is mid February and all of the crops are still in good shape.  

Of course every once in awhile I come across a bad veggie but such is life.  I am very happy with how my storage system turned out.  Next year, I plan to insulate the totes with some insulation I found.  It was -22 here last night and a few carrots on top froze but the rest held up. 


Check out the pictures of my set-up.


The start of the project.  These totes are in my garage against a house wall.

Layering the carrots.  Put them in a single row.  No double stacking.

I have a few blankets and we throw our winter gear on the totes.

Beets in sand.  You can see they sprout a bit.

Carrots.

Ready for stew!

Add some venison or dry beans and you have a meal for a few pennies.

He approves!











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