Today, I am going to share a short but good question that came to my inbox. I hope its practicality can help others. I have enjoyed sharing with you this week. I pray that everyone has a blessed weekend with their family!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
Question: How do you store potatoes and onions for the winter months? How do I know how much to store? Storing food is new to me so I appreciate anything you can share.
Answer: Having a well stocked pantry is something our family has practiced for the last 15 years. The Lord took us to a place where there were several families who practiced good management of their homes. They took me under their wing and taught me a great deal! Things like where to find produce for free or next to free, how to use a pressure cooker, and the basics of food storage. I have learned much more over the years from practical hands on application. There have been times the lessons were learned through disaster and other times through reading good resources or connecting with just the "right person". I say all this to say, I don't share as any type of "expert", I share as a mother who has learned the value of a well stocked pantry! So, to answer your question....
As with all produce you store, make sure you are careful when handling it. Remove any that have spots or look like they are already in the process of going 'bad'. For storing both onions and potatoes some recommend storing in rice, I have found that not to be cost effective for our family. I use straw and it works just fine! It is also important to store in a cool, dry and dark place such as a basement or a root cellar. I also spread bay leaves out where I am storing things as I have found it helpful in keeping 'pests' away!
1. Onions- This is a new method that my mother taught me after she visited. I absolutely love it!!! We store ours in old, washed, panty hose nylons. The children will put an onion in the leg and then tie a knot. They repeat this until they are at the top of the legs. We then hang them from a rod in the pantry. I know this sounds strange but it allows the perfect amount of air needed to preserve our onions from the garden! (My mother taught me this!)
2. Potatoes. The type of potatoes you are storing makes an impact on your success as well as how careful you are in the process. If you are putting away potatoes from your garden don’t' wash them. Washing them really does impact the length of life they have in storage. You really have to consider your space limitations and most importantly making sure they are not touching each other. I like to put ours in a crate and layer with straw in-between the layers of potatoes. I am careful when I put the potatoes in the crate, just like all produce I work with. I don't allow any tossing or carelessness. I have found this is vital for the success of storing potatoes.
NOTE: Don't store your potatoes and onions together. They will produce a gas that will spoil BOTH of them!
How much to store you ask? How ever much your family will use! Don't store something just because it's a great deal or healthy. If your family doesn't eat it, you will be wasting your money! To determine how much to store, I suggest you keep track how much you go through on a weekly or monthly basis and then just multiple for that number by the number of weeks/months you are trying to store the item for. Don't try to store too much for too long!
Hope some of that helps! Thanks for your question! I always love to hear from you!
Mrs. Joseph Wood