Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Old Fridge = Root Cellar?

Today I washed potatoes I purchased in November. They looked remarkably similar to their just dug state. I've always wanted a real root cellar. Now I've found a decent alternative to tide me over until I reach root cellar nirvana. It's a dead fridge purchased for $20 on KSL. I drilled a few holes in the doors for ventilation, but I'm not convinced that they actually do anything much. I think opening the door every other day would work just as well. I also removed the temperature control module so that I could have more room for potatoes. I kept apples in the freezer portion until we ate them all (sad day... I might need to get another dead fridge just for apples). The potatoes live in the fridge part. Until things got actual winter cold the "root cellar" was not a good place to keep onions (they respirate quite a bit when it's anything like warm). Once the temperature dropped I moved them in with the apples and they've done quite well. Both the onions and the potatoes have grown mold selectively. On the onions the roots tend to be colonized by mold once they start growing. Not a big deal - I just cut it off with the roots when I peel the onions. The potatoes still have plenty of dirt on them and those bits of dirt will grow mold. I have yet to find any mold spots that actually got through the potato skin. I like anything that means I can eat potatoes for more of the year AND decreases the amount of canning I have to do. When it costs a grand total of $34 (including the wire baskets from DI)... maybe I have reached root cellar nirvana.

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