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 Post subject: Food Item: Squash & Pumpkins
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:23 am 
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Food Item: Squash & Pumpkins


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 ---

Squash and pumpkins

An easy crop to store is squash or pumpkins. Nearly all kinds labeled winter squash and even mature summer squash, such as the Mid East cousa type, can keep almost six months if they are picked at the right time and cured properly. At harvest, the skin should be so hard that a fingernail won’t puncture it. Leave the stem on and cure both squash and pumpkin in the sun at 70° to 80° F for 10 to 14 days. If properly cured and later stored at 55° to 60° F with 60 to 70% humidity, they should hold through most of the winter. An unheated bedroom works well for me. Pies from fresh pumpkin taste delicious in March.

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