If you live in a colder climate like me, the last farmers market of the year is probably fast approaching. As sad as this day will be, the good news is that there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that do well in cold-storage over winter.
Here’s what I’ll be stocking up on at the end-of-the-season farmers market in my area:
Beets and Carrots –
Beets and carrots can store for two to four months in the refrigerator. Be sure to cut the tops off about one inch above the root and dry the roots thoroughly before storing in a sealed plastic bag.
Cabbage can last two to three months in the fridge or root cellar. No need for a plastic bag. Be sure not to peel the outer leaves of the cabbage until you’re ready to use it. The outer leaves protect the inner leaves from drying out.
Potatoes can keep for three to six months in a cool, dark, dry place like a root cellar or basement. Store them in a loosely woven basket, slotted bin, or paper bag. Don’t store potatoes in close proximity to fruit or onions, never refrigerate, and avoid exposure to light.
Winter Squash –
Winter squash can store up to six months in a root cellar, basement, or a cool, dry room. They’ll even last a few months in the pantry.
Onions and Shallots –
Onions can store up to six months in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation. Hang them in a wire mesh basket or mesh bag, or store them in slotted bins. Avoid sweet onions – they don’t store as well as pungent varieties.
Garlic can store up to six months in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation. Hang garlic bulbs in a wire mesh basket or mesh bag, or store them in slotted bins. Do not refrigerate and don’t store in plastic. Remember that garlic’s shelf-life decreases once you start removing cloves from the bulb.
Apples and Asian Pears –
Apples and Asian pears will last four to six months in cold storage. Store in wire mesh baskets or slotted bins in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place such as a root cellar.
Green Onions and Scallions –
Store in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for up to one month.
I’m always surprised by how long a head of frisée lasts in the fridge. It will keep for about a month stored in a sealed plastic bag. When you’re ready to use the frisée, remove any outer leaves that show signs of rot.
Note: Some varieties of produce keep better over the winter than others, so ask your local farmers if they have any varieties that have been bred for winter storage.