If properly managed, storage crops can last through the entire winter and even into the following spring, allowing you to eat from your garden even when you don't feel like going outside in the cold to pick salad greens. Below are the very basic rules for storage of a few different common storage crops, check out our book for more in depth information...
Beets, Carrots, Turnips: If the leaves are removed* and the veggies are placed in a plastic bag, these three root veggies will store up to 6 months in the refrigerator.
*Beet and turnips leaves make great cooking greens!
Potatoes: For long-term storage, wash the tubers* and set them out on newspaper to air dry for about two weeks. This allows the tubers to “cure” by toughening up the skins. Store them in a paper bag or box at 40-50 degrees.
*If you have a huge crop of potatoes, they will actually store longer if left unwashed.
Winter squash: Winter squash stores best when left on the vine until the entire plant has died back. Harvest the fruit from the vine once the stem is easy to break, and try to leave 5-6 inches of stem on the top of the fruit. Once the fruit has been harvested dunk it in a bath of diluted bleach water (I would say 1 part bleach to 20 parts water). This will kill any remaining funal and mold spores that are on the fruits surface. Dry off your squash and store it in a cool, dry location.
Onions: Once the tops of the onions flop over to the side, you can pull them from the soil. If the weather is dry and sunny, simply pull the onion from the ground and lay it on top of the garden bed to cure in the sun for 3-4 days. If the weather is wet or cool, you can lay them out in a dry, warm location to cure. Each onion variety will have a different storage life. Large, sweet onions like Walla-Walla or Ailsa Craig can keep for 2-3 months and small yellow onions like Copra can keep for 6-8 months. Plant a few different types of onions for the widest range of flavors and best storing scenario.