ISSUE 90  |  The Modern Root Cellar

Roots in the Sand: Winter Vegetable Storage

September 20, 2013 1:00 PM

BY Erin Boyle

This week’s harvest moon has us thinking about ways to store up the last of the season’s bounty. Last week, we explored ways to keep vegetables fresh longer and Sarah reminded us of a trick she learned from the design of a Refrigerator-Free Kitchen. In that prototype kitchen, the designer created a special vessel for storing carrots in sand. 

Sand in the kitchen? It’s not as outlandish as it sounds.

Keeping root vegetables in sand is a trick that farmers have often relied on to extend the freshness of fall crops into the winter. Farmers can keep whole bushels of carrots, beets, and parsnips in oversized wooden crates filled with moist sand or sawdust and left in a cool, dark place.

Lucky for folks with smaller grow operations, we found a smaller-scale model for more modest harvests.

Above: The Root Storage Bin is made from a wire frame and jute liner; $34.95 from Gardener’s Supply.

Above: To keep carrots and beets fresh, alternate layers of vegetables with moist sand or sawdust. Use the same bin for storing potatoes, turnips, or winter squash, but leave out the sand.

Interested in more Modern Root Cellar innovations? See 5 Favorites: Canning Jars; The Well-Stocked Pantry: Potato Storage 101, and 5 Favorites: Modern Root Cellars.