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 Post subject: Food Item: Cabbage
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:20 am 
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Food Item: Cabbage


Successful cold storage

By Sylvia Gist


Ideally, I would have a root cellar which maintained the correct temperature for the produce I would like to keep. Unfortunately, it’s not that ideal, so I have to look for other places to store things. Fortunately, different vegetables like different temperatures, so everything doesn’t have to go in the same place. Other storage options (depending upon the item) include in the ground, under a staircase, unheated rooms, outside stairwells, pits in the ground, or extra refrigerators, to name a few.

A storage method is only the last step to having successful cold storage and fresh vegetables in the winter. The first step begins with the seed catalog; it is extremely important to choose cultivars which store well. For example, not every type of carrot will still be edible the following May. Most seed catalogs are good at telling us which ones have good storage qualities. I have relied on their recommendations and have found particular cultivars of a number of vegetables that store very well for me.

Planting time and harvest time also affect the success of storage. Many storage vegetables are planted later and harvested after frost. In the following discussion, I will note what works best for me as I deal with a fairly short growing season and cool nights.

-snip- --- FULL article can be found at link, above ---


One of the greatest challenges in storing vegetables has been the cabbage. I tried a number of methods, but nothing worked until I started to grow cabbage especially bred for storage. So far my favorite is Storage #4 (available from Johnny’s Seeds). It will produce a large, very solid head, which is still nice and solid the following June.

While I start my early cabbages in March (eight weeks before the last expected spring frost), I start the storage cabbages the first week in May, about 100 to 120 days before the first expected frost in the fall, as it will make most of its head late in summer, but grow some and hold well into fall. I dig mine before the ground freezes or before the weather stays below freezing. I cut off the root, leaving 6 inches of the stalk, and trim off those loose outer leaves. I then wrap each very loosely in a plastic grocery bag and store them in the extra refrigerator or upside down in the stairwell next to the buckets I store the carrots in. During the cold months, they do best in the stairwell where ventilation is better. They prefer 32-40 degrees with 90% humidity. As the temperature rises outside, I have to move them to a refrigerator to last into summer. They can produce cabbagey fumes, which may make one reconsider keeping them in the house long term.

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