Tired. Today was winter-veg harvest go-time. Our unseasonably warm October tomorrow shifts to a weather pattern that may include snow. I’m not so concerned about the temperatures, but if it rained on my root veg then froze, or snowed and stayed – I’d be pretty screwed. They’ve got to come in some time.
So in came the rest of the potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, cabbages, and about half the parsnips. The pace would have been fine had I not started the day at my dad’s pulling and packing away into storage the truckload of giant carrots he had that he wasn’t going to use. So I have about four 5-gallon pails of carrots stowed away in sand. My dad gets through the winter into April with one pail, so 4 should do us if the conditions in my cellar allow. I’m on a bit of a mission to at least have SOMETHING from the garden available year-round here, so this winter, we may start that trend with carrots.
One of the interesting parts of my day was reviewing how my dad stores his root veg – his techniques differing quite a bit from my tome of guidance: Root Cellaring. He washes his veg thoroughly – something most sources say not to do. He harvests on hot sunny days to allow the veg to dry in the sun prior to storage, post wash – another no-no, as harvesting on cold days = cold veg to start storage + less handling = better. This isn’t to say that he’s doing it wrong, as his results are successful. So I was tempering what I’ve researched with what has worked for him as I’m largely storing the same crops in a similar climate.
So my root cellar, after all the planning, building, fussing, just got its first heavy load for its first winter.