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Bagging the Bounty Part 1

Bob Gregory Lynnita Gregory


This class will look at how we process and handle crops for long-term storage. We will cover principles for canning, pickling, freezing, dehydrating, root-cellaring and simple cold-storage solutions. 


  • January 15, 2020
    8:15 AM
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This class is basically going to be discussing. What we do with the with a crop that we don't use immediately and the idea here is that we want to give you some information about how we keep our crops for the long term how do we. Preserve dry d. hydrate we do cellaring. Some cold storage and we'll be talking a little bit about canning freezing and and dehydrating and some pickling too we don't pickle very much and one of the things that we really try to emphasize on our farm is that precious best. When you can use fresh products you're far better off then using any kind of a preserve product in any one of these forms and. The basis for agriculture program is to show you how to do those things we talked about season extension in the last class this morning and we try to take that to its full extreme meaning that we grow crops year round on our farm in a part of the country that's typically not done and less you're above about $45.00 degrees latitude. That's a real possibility for you and I'm going to maybe share a little bit about how we kind of get that far into the growing season with things. We had a lady here this morning that was talking about crops in her high tunnel that are doing just fine at those far northern latitudes but that things aren't growing this time of year that's the case because the length of the days is so short the timing of our crop becomes important because you want to reach full maturity before it stops growing but even a crop that's at full it. Surety at around the 1st of the year you can harvest on through the succeeding months because the plants really not growing seed got sensually feels cold storage at that point things are stored right in the field for you and then you harvest them is you need them this is true things like our carrots and or our meats and some of the other things that we have in the ground right now they are there which are there ready to harvest but I don't have to harvest them because 5 pull him out of the ground and put them in a refrigerator is no difference and we have him for they are because there are generated anyway so fresh is best I'm going to spend some time talking to you about curing crops. Most of you probably don't know what that involves but to give you a quick short definition it's how do we manage their crops before we harvest them for storage we had a friend over on Sabbath that had a Sabbath meal with us and he was complaining because he had a beautiful crop of butternut squash this year and he picked those butternut squash and they're all rotting on him right now and it's not what he did after he harvest them it's what he did before he harvested them that was the reason for that so I'm going to touch on that and that as is is part of what we're going to be talking about as far as curing the crops for harvest and for storage too showed you this slide earlier this morning 2 but what I want to emphasize here as that we want to use as much fresh product as possible so let's plan our gardens organize our gardens and such a way using a combination of low tunnels high tunnels low tunnels inside high tunnels to extend our growing season so that we can manage your crops most people are not aware that there are a lot of crops that can tolerate being frozen and lettuce is one of them I actually grow couple of varieties of red leaf lettuce even down to single digit temperatures now at night these are unheated high tunnels and low tunnels and it night. By dawn in your way. The temperature inside the the season extension. Device is just the same as it is outside I mean if it's a 5 degree morning and I measure the temperature of that lettuce under a low tunnel at this time of the day it's going to be 5 degrees 2 and it'll be frozen solid and if you flick your finger on a lettuce leaf it's going to shatter just like fine glass wood but by using the low tunnels it does retain the heat once the sun comes up and creates what temperature is in there that are warm enough not just to thaw the lettuce out but taxi keep it alive and let it grow on for a while more now after lettuce goes through a cycle of maybe 10 times freezing and buying it starts to get a little bit better but it's still good quality lettuce and you can harvest that lettuce in the afternoon after it's thought out you'd never know that it was frozen in most instances so we do apply this to crops that are tolerant of being frozen the crops that we store and what we're going to talk about today are kind of in 2 categories I'm going to handle the 1st category here and then will indeed it is going to share with you what she does for the 2nd category but the stuff the crops that we store are largely corn in the way of corn meal now where we live growing small grains is a real challenge things like we ride barley that type of thing and it's partly because we have such a humid climate it's difficult to grow those to a point where they can be harvested without fungal disease damage corn is the exception to that and corn is one of our primary staple crops we try to grow as much of our own food as possible and we succeed pretty well at that there are still things that we buy we like avocados we like pineapples we like bananas we like a variety of things in our diet but at the end of the day if you know. So if the end of the day comes and we no longer have access beyond our farm we are perfectly capable of being totally 100 percent self-sustaining right on our farm you know that's that's a feeling that is just amazing. I've only had that feeling twice in my life as far as being aware that I can feed my family no matter what and the other time that I had that feeling was when I paid off a mortgage and nobody else had any strings on my on my land any more. The independence the sense of independence that comes with being able to supply your food needs and your family's food needs is it is really a profound experience and I say that because. From my perspective a lot of the problems that we see on the planet today stem from fear I think the enemies greatest. Avenue in 2 disrupting God's order on this on this earth is to instill fear in us and whether you realize it or not right now you have a fear inside of you that's affecting every decision that you make that you're probably not even aware of and that decision is where is my food going to come from if you're not growing it yourself you're relying or you are dependent on a system of bringing food to right Ok now you're probably not giving this a lot of conscious thought but your subconscious certainly is aware of that that creates a stress in our minds that creates a sense of anxiety in our minds that can manifest itself in all kinds of different aspects of aberration in our thinking when we have the capacity to feed ourselves as well as to draw breath ourselves without having to get that. From someone else as well as being able to have the water that we need for our physical needs we've met all of our physical needs and that fear dissipates and goes away and the channels of our thinking are far clearer and far more capable of dealing with the real issues at hand which we know to be the great controversy and the issues surrounding that so I really want to encourage you to take as much time and effort as necessary to put yourself in a position where you can meet that need. And no longer be dependent on this over which you have no control buying your food or Whole Foods even if you're already Anik and non g.m.o. and blah blah blah is not the same as growing it yourself it's not the same quality it's not the same nutritional value and it's not the same spiritual food that you'll find if you use your efforts your hands your family your land to to accomplish that. Corn in the form of corn meal is one of our staples we also grow dried beans and. We use those on a on a very frequent basis as a protein source we grow winter squash and pumpkins I'm going to include those 2 together because they're very similar in fact a pumpkin is nothing but a winter squash there is a different name squash in pumpkin or basically the same thing we're talking about the weather squash now potatoes sweet potatoes onions garlic and herbs are all things that we store and I'm going to address most of these then when needed we'll be talking to us about tomatoes sweet corn green beans herbs peppers berries fruits and the last few on this list are things that we store. Or short term and that's cabbage beets carrots and turnips and when I say short term I'm talking about a period of 60 to 90 days and you can canned those things you can prepare them for long term storage too but since we have a constant input of food from our garden we don't need to store them for a long period of time and my preference instead of making things like sauerkraut or can be and carrots is to simply store them for a brief period of time and then you know as we've talked about the. Seasonal eating this morning to eat whatever is next in the in the crop cycle and compliance with that statement from Ecclesiastes is chapter 3. I want to talk about something regarding food preservation that very few of you have probably given consideration of and this is curing the crop before. Storage or before even before harvest. And basically this process of curing hardens the plants off it builds sugars within the plant and it prepares the plant for a long period of dormancy or prepares the fruit of the plant for a long period of dormancy and this is this is precisely the reason why my neighbor's squash butternut squash did not store this year because it was not properly cured prior to him putting it into storage and curing it involves primarily drying the plant down and allowing the plant to harden off in this hardening off process potassium levels rise in the plant which makes the cell walls more durable and. Tougher basically at allows sugars to increase within the plant so that you better get better quality better sweetness and in things like squash better. Mineral levels and things like corn and beans. And. It also raises the level of calcium which is also involved in the cell wall structure within the plant to strengthen the cell walls and help it resist deterioration while it's in storage so this curing process is important to fill corn Dr beans what are squash pumpkins potato sweet potatoes onions and garlic all go through this process prior and shortly after being harvested before we store them all right one of our most important crops economically are the garlic garlic and onions those actually are things that are very marketable in our area they're fair they grow fairly well in our area but one of the challenges we have is as a story I'm in our area and I am going to walk you through the process of what we do to accomplish that so that they don't rot after after storage. We're going to start with a little discussion about field corn. And field corn if you're supplying all of your own food on that 2 thirds of an acre working your half an hour a day is going to involve growing some field corn and by curing it what I do is I stop all irrigation on the crop once the ears are fully filled out once the corn cobs are fully shaped and kernels of grain on the cobs are fully sized stop watering Now that doesn't mean we don't get occasional rainfall and it doesn't mean that we can dry the plant down completely that way but the idea of cutting the water off means that carbohydrates that are stored in the root system and in the stem and stocks of the plants migrate into the fruit at that point at a much lower level of moisture and those calcium and Cason levels in the cell itself sir. To harden the Seabrooke the. Cell walls and the more strict content in the food portion of the planet stealth begins to decline a little bit and this increases sugars if you're one of those people that is into understanding and concerned about the bricks content in your food this raises the bricks level incredibly by accomplishing this simply by stopping your irrigation. We use a method to dry our corn because we're in a very wet area we get a lot of rain in July and August in fact July is our wettest month in August we can easily get 4 to 5 inches of rain which is when the corn is starting to mature so I try to plant the corn so that it's going to mature after that period of heavy rainfall I want it to start to dry down in September and into really October for where we're located sometimes I can actually dry it down sufficiently in the field while that's standing in rows to harvest it but most years I have to use this method of shocking the corn in order to get it dry enough to. Really store for a long period of time and we had an old gentleman this is a dear friend of ours that since passed away they came over and taught me how to shock corn because I had never done it before and I'll just share with you what he taught me see this this stand of corn here the pile basically basically a vertical pile of corn. Is started by taking about a square yard and cutting all of the corn out of that area except for one plant on the corner of that square so I've got 4 live rooted plants about 3 feet apart in a square and after that I start cutting the rest of the corn a couple inches above the ground and stacking it into that square using the 4 plants with roots as anchors to keep it from blowing over and to keep it steady and upright and then we simply took some of the leaves of the of the corn and wrapped it around the center of it and bound it into basically a bundle or a shock and at that point. The majority for those 4 plants all of those no longer have roots and when they don't have roots stay dry out more evenly and by drying out more evenly and drying the ears of all their own the plant all of that energy in carbohydrate within the plant now has moved into the seed increase the nutritional value the hardness and the quality of that grain Ok pretty straightforward. Once the shocks have stood this is actually a picture of when we were harvesting the corn off the shocks this this stack is fully dry that the other one that you were looking at there was at the green stage but we left them shocked for about 3 weeks $3.00 to $4.00 weeks before we pulled the corn off and we harvested the corn. And then at that point we can remove the ears if necessary. You can take those ears and move them indoors to continue to dry them until the cobs and then the grain is fully dry and by fully dry when we're talking about agricultural products or seeds we're talking about a moisture content in the seed that's less than 12 percent if there's more than 12 percent moisture you run the risk of it rotting on you at 12 percent it's dry enough hard enough that it will last for a long long time now how are you going to know when it's at 12 percent. I actually use a pocket knife to make that determination and what I'll do is I'll take a grain and don't have one here to demonstrate it with I do have my pocket my focus on the gardener we always carry a pocket knife. But basically if you take a sharp knife and you try to cut through that grain instead of slicing through the grain and this applies to beans and other any other kind of see instead of slicing through it what's going to happen is it's going to crack or shatter on you it will simply shatter like like glass when you drop it and if it shatters then you're below that 12 percent and at that point we shell the the grain off the cobs. You can do that by hand but it's a very tedious process and very difficult on your fingers we have a small machine that my wife gave to me as a birthday present that's Korn shell or from Maine factory background 880 I guess that's the machine that you see here basically I put the years in one hand and there's a rotating handle on the other side there that I'm cranking and it shells the grain off the cobs the grain comes out of a chute on the bottom here and then the cobs gets spit out on on the end. So we have shelled a lot of corn with that old machine and it is something that is still available today Lehman's and some other companies have varieties of different model styles of these that are still available today but if you can find an old one they're pretty cool to have and it's nice to to have that machine that's still made in use once we show it off the cob we have a neighbor that has a tractor with a grist that powers a grist mill stone grist mill and he actually grinds the corn for us for a small share I used to give you know if we if we do 4 or 500 pounds of corn I'll give him 10 percent of it for growing it for us and use to give him enough money to cover the cost of his fuel to run his tractor. But there are other ways to get your corn ground too again Lehman's has some hand crank grinding apparatus that are available that a mix is one way the can do it if you have absolutely have to. And there are other ways to get it ground but in a way we grind the corn. We seal it in plastic bags and then drop it in the freezer for at least 3 or 4 days and the reason for that is that we want to kill off any potential insects or eggs that might have gotten into the corn so that we don't have weevils or other things like that when it's in storage. We then put it in a dark dry place and store it we grind about $3.00 to $500.00 pounds every other year I don't grow field corn every year but we we grow it every other year and then that 2 year supply last us for that period of time. Now one thing to be very careful of is to make sure that you have this product thoroughly dry when you go through this process and the reason for that is that corn can host some really serious types of mold that can be very damaging to your health so if you end up with a bag that smells must your moly. That's something you don't want to use or got as one does one of the pathogens that grains can. Can produce at this point so you want to make sure that you got it very very dry when you go through this process this is what the finished product looks like we put it in quantities that are useful to us in a short period of time which is basically a gallon bag full of corn meal it's about a 3 pound man a corn meal there and we have 2 different types that we grow the one on the right is called bloody butcher and it's red Colonel Corn variety the one on the left is Boone County white I have some seed for that available at our table over here that's a really productive corn those plants grow to about 14 feet tall the years can be 15 to 18 inches long and when we grew that last time I shelled 3 quarters of a pound of grain from one ear. So it's a good one and it makes really good cornbread too we've grown popcorn also and this is the final product of the popcorn it goes through the same process I love popcorn This is a variety called on issue red and it's by far my favorite popcorn and we're we're popcorn self-sufficient too in our food supply these days. Curing beans is very similar in that you want to stop irrigation when the beans are fully formed I'm talking about dried beans Now these are dry beans for storage and. When the seed is fully formed you want to cut the water off at that point. More irrigation. And this is also when the skin on the on the bean itself is is not easily injured and still come off the bean the beans are still wet and green at this point but when the seeds are when the skin of this is fully ripened and dance and you can tell this because the pods themselves will start to begin to split about 10 percent of the pods will will start to crack open that's when it's time to harvest the beans and at that point what I suggest as you go out and you basically in commercial use we do this with a tractor and use what's called a bean knife that goes through and basically cuts the plants off and ground level and the thing that we want to accomplish is the same thing only with the small quantities that you're growing in your home garden you compare to use a pair of loppers or just use a sharp knife but cut those bean plants off from the root system and this is for the same purpose as the shocking that we did in the corn to allow that barring to dry out completely and for all of those carbohydrates and all of those proteins and phytochemicals standard that bean seed before you harvest it so that you get the maximum nutrition the maximum quality and the maximum capacity to get a long storage period in that seed when 10 percent of the pods are cracked open that means that the crop is ready to then be harvested or thrashed and one of the easy ways to accomplish this with beans especially if you don't have too many of them is to just take the plant by the cat and put it in an empty trash can and take all your frustration out just beat the daylights out of it and this will do one of 2 things it'll either just knock the pot off into the trash can and leave you with leaves and debris in all the stems in your hand or. It will shell the beans for you to cracking the pods open and getting them into the bottom of the can but it's just a way of separating the Pozner of sit there and pick off every pod from from the strike plants if you choose to do that that's far into this is just a way to do it on a little larger scale you want to finish drawing the seeds indoors for those that didn't shell out of the pods you want to shelve them and basically at that point you can separate all the chaff the pods and leaves and debris from the seed simply by putting all of that product in a 5 gallon bucket. And slowly pouring it from 15 gallon bucket into another 5 gallon bucket with a box fan behind you to blow off the debris you follow me. And tissues that as a way of air separation I want to blow the seeds away you want to blow the crop away but it will the seeds are going to be dense and heavy at that point and it's pretty easy to separate with the fan if you do that twice I've never had to do it more than twice stand up with pure clean beans and in the bucket. Once you have that then you can bag again temporarily freeze those beans for the same reason to eliminate insects or worms or any potential eggs that are there and store it in a cool dark location Ok they don't have to be stored in the freezer freezing him for 3 or 4 days prior to dry storage is a good idea with caution pumpkins. One of the important things is to consider when you plant those squash and pumpkins make sure they have plenty of nutrient in the soil before you plant them and I say that because sometimes in some gardening. Ways of. Supplying nourishment your plants they will suggest that you add some fertilizer or compost during the growing season this is not a good idea with squash and pumpkins and I'll explain why as we get through the other stages of this curing but you want to have all the fertility in place before the crop is planted again once your fruits are fully formed once that butternut squash or that pumpkin or that Boccia squashes is formed and and shaped to to where it's going to be stop your irrigation and once again let that plant start to dry out they'll usually let you know when this time arrives because the vines themselves will start to die back a little bit the tips of the vines will will start to wither a little bit and at that point cut the irrigation off and let them continue to dry down and you want to harvest your fruits only after the skin is too hard to be perforated with your thumb nail and just take your thumb nail and try to poke it into the pumpkin or into the squash and if you break the skin it's not hard enough yet that means it needs more drying time and if they resist that it might leave a little you know a little blemish on them on the surface of the skin but you won't break through the skin and the other indication that it's fully ripe is that the stem should be dry and really hard too and when you when you cut the spam. What we do with ours at that point is we bring it in from the field and we wash any debris or soil or anything off the fruits and then we dry them thoroughly after that either allowing them to air dry or even in some instances if we have rain threatening or something will dry him off with a towel but you want the Skins to be completely dry before you try to to store them. Most squash benefit from a period of what's called dry curing for about $3.00 to $4.00 weeks after you harvest them in that dry curing is basically exposure to temperatures in the high seventy's to low eighty's for a period of 3 to 4 weeks and that really enhances the flavor of pumpkins and squash to do that oftentimes you know we heard that the wives tale about not harvesting the pumpkins until after a frost and the reality is that that's a shortcut way of accomplishing some of this because the frost is going to kill off the vine and it's going to cut off that moisture of from the root system from entering the pumpkin and it's going to basically harden the pumpkin kind of a flash kind of way but it's not as effective as going through the steps and the reality is that by Dr curing and harvesting those before it gets that cold you'll have a much better quality product that will taste much better and will last much longer to we then store our pumpkins and that room temperature in a dry dark location. And as I said leaving him out until the last frost that can be a little bit risky for long term storage. We have butternut squash that we have. Stored for up to 16 months and not had. Rotten on ice so and it says hardening process the driving down the field sharing and the hardening process that allows us to do that my neighbor the other day when he was sharing with me he harvested his pumpkins in October and he's having rot problems already and was really disappointed that his problems were wrong he thought it was because of where he had them stored that the area wasn't good but the reality was his crop wasn't good for storage because he didn't process in this way. A real important crop to us as a staple or potatoes. We grow typically 3 different varieties of potatoes but only one is really our favorite we grow the other ones for the same reason that we talked about growing a variety of different things this morning and that is for food security if we happen to have a bad year for this Friday we want other potatoes to take their place but again with potatoes we try to plant them early in the season to help avoid some insect cycles and it as actually. Makes storing the potatoes a little more difficult because by planting them early we avoid some problems like the Colorado potato beetle and the Fatah through a late blight that affects potatoes but it means that we're harvesting them in July and that's not prime weather for storing potatoes it it's hot outside it's more east it's muggy and it's very wet. So what we do as soon as the potatoes finish blooming and once the potatoes are pretty fully formed the vines will start to die back a little bit and when that process of of die a back begins I stop all irrigation at that point again for the same reasons as the corn in the beans and the other crops to build sugars to build carbohydrate and to transfer those potassium compounds and calcium compounds into the potato themselves. And once those vines are have completely died back then we're prepared to dig them and at that time the potato skins should not be easily damaged the potato skins themselves should be should be pretty tough now I'm talking here about potatoes that we are harvesting for storage you can use fresh potatoes and harvest them all along in this process too I'm speaking specifically for storage here we only digger potatoes when the soil is dry enough so it doesn't leave. Good on the skins and in our circumstance that's not a really easy thing to do because we're harvesting in July and July is our wettest month so it's a rare thing that we can go out and harvest our potatoes without at least having some mud or clumps of soil stuck to the potatoes if the ground is dry enough the potatoes will come out of the ground fairly clean and that's that's what we desire but in our soils that's just not always achievable but we try not to try not to dig them when there's enough moisture in the ground to leave mud on the skins and if there is we wash our potatoes and I've had a lot of discussions with potato growing people over the years about whether to wash or not to wash your potatoes before storage and my experience as long as your potatoes are clean they don't need to be washed but if they do have dirt on them yes wash them before you store them but it's important that you thoroughly dry them after washing them before you place them in storage what we do we have a large black traits that are ventilated crates they're bold creates. And most of the time we have to wash our potatoes so I bring them in and the 1st thing that we do is we since we've pulled them out of a moment moist soil and we have a lot of pressure from fungal diseases where where we live I just let them sit in a covered area we use our barn basically or Jim building I leave them in these crates for about 4 or 5 days and then we will sort through these potatoes because some of them if they're damaged can already start to show evidence of rotting at that point. Because of the moist conditions that we're in and we'll separate those out and at that point will wash the rest of them put them back in the creates put them back in a covered area and then I run a fan on them for about 4 or 5 days to completely dry the potatoes and once they're completely dry they're clean then you can move them into a storage area and for storing potatoes you want an area that is dark but also that but also has some air movement so that those potatoes stay dry meaning you don't want to enclose these in a plastic bag or in a in a you know been of some sort with a lid on it you want to be open and exposed to the year and you need to keep them or the temperature will not go below 43 degrees and the reason for that is that they'll dull store at a temperature below $43.00 degrees but you'll start to get some. Some cold damage in the center of the potatoes at that temperature and that'll eventually blacken sometimes you'll just get it tough streak of potato material in the middle of the potato but as a pretty easily damaged if they're stored too cold and 43 degrees is kind of the the important number to keep in mind their sweet potatoes are pretty much the same as all the. There's this this process of curing as I said is basically intended to build the content potassium calcium and carbohydrate in the plant and allowing all of the nutrients that are in the stems in the leaves to migrate into the plant so again with sweet potatoes before you harvest them cut the water off at least 30 days prior to harvest but the plants mature and cut the water off and leave them there and you want to harvest them with sweet potatoes again many people wait until the vines just die back with frost and harvest them but you really better off harvesting him before the warm weather and so that you have some time for curing because they like some of the squash like to be held at temperatures of about 80 degrees for 3 weeks before we store them and in storing sweeper Taito they don't wike cool temperatures they like room temperatures so those need to go into some form of storage where you've got a dark location but it's a relatively room temperature I'm going to say between 50 and 70 or 50 and 75 degrees for storing potatoes doing that process can allow you potatoes to last for a really really long time this is a sweet potato that we grew the 1st year that we were in West Virginia. I groom actually in a high tunnel and this potato when we harvest it weighed 9 and a quarter pounds and we kind of kept it as a centerpiece for a while and I was curious about how long it would last and we got to a little over 2 years and I finally cut it open because I was curious Surely this thing is an edible anymore and I was somewhat right there were some black spots and it was some damage in it at 26 months old. So that just indicates that the value of hardening things off of curing the crop before you were missed is really important. 2 of the most important crops for us economically and also because we like them a whole lot are onions and garlic. And again because we have a moist clément they're a little bit challenging to grow in West Virginia and to cure for long term storage and by curing again I'm talking about drawing down so what we do is we try to time the planting of our Iranians and this is for outdoor grown onions we try to time the planning so that our herbalist will be during a relatively dry period which for us is September usually by the 2nd week of September the humidity levels start to drop we still get rain after that but the amount of humidity in the air drops will dramatically about the 2nd week of September so we want to try to time our outdoor grown to. Onions so that we're harvesting them about that time. The reality for us is that we're most successful growing our onions under a high tunnel so that we keep rainfall off of them and we can keep them dry and harvest them earlier in the year these are good money making crops for us both garlic and onions so I like to have be able to harvest them as soon as I can during the summer farmer's market season so for that reason I have seedlings that are sprouting in my greenhouse right now that are going to get planted in a high tunnel by about the 2nd week of March and we'll be harvesting those in June and in order to to be able to do this excessively and to have some of those and use will sell fresh but many of will sell as dry Indians to we've got to cut the water off and let them dry them in cure and that means for the unions no water within 20 days of harvest. After harvest basically we pull any ans out we need to let the entire. Plant dried thoroughly and you know some people do this by hanging on aeons we grow so many that that's not practical for us and we don't really have. A dry enough fire environment even to hang them so we're lucky we've got a school building with lots of classrooms and we actually use one of the classrooms for carrying or onions and garlic and basically what I do is as I. Take a bunch of old pallets and put them on the floor and we spread the onions out on these pallets in some instances just on the bare floor itself I close all the doors in the windows of this room and we put a dehumidifier in there and run it for about 3 weeks the dehumidifier pulls the moisture out of the Union so I pulled isn't as much as 12 gallons of water at day out of that dehumidifier in this that that room is is a little bit smaller than this one is so that's a whole lot of moisture in the atmosphere and a whole lot of moisture in the onions that we're we're we're getting out of there before we can starve them before we can store them in other climates you don't have to go to that extreme but for us that's an important step is to getting them fully dry too once they're dry we store them in crates like the ones that you see in this photo here again where there's plenty of air movement low light levels and we've stored that the onions that are harvested at the beginning of July. Last year we're still making use of them they'll go they'll store for us for for a good you know 9 months. And some of the last longer than map and we can store them reliable reliably for about 9 months. Into just some of the different varieties that we grow in the example of how we store my don't storm in that location that's under a chalkboard in the building in the room. We dried them and we store them in a dark room typically but that's all we do. I'll talk just briefly about herbs here and then I'm going to turn this over to my very capable wife that is going to talk about the things that you really can't do this class to hear back as you think you're going to hear back here and get you. Herbs or are important to us to other good marketing item but more. For our use we do a primarily for our own use we don't just feed ourselves but we also feed folks that come through our classes during the course of the year and you know we feed a lot of people so we need a lot of stuff and the herbs that we grow are kind of predicated on that quantity this isn't something that I sell a lot of at the farmers' market and we grow basal Dilla Reg No Rosemary and cilantro primarily and. These are really fairly simple we've got a couple of different methods for for drying nice I'm going to let Lynn need to talk a little bit when she starts here about another method she uses. Using ice cube trays for storing some of herbs but basically we just kept them and we hang them in a dry location dark drive location let them dry down this is basal that's hanging in one of our rooms here and we'll have newsprint or something on the floor so it's the least right down fall off the plants we can collect them and basically let it dry again until the plants thoroughly dry before hanging this basal up again I cut the water off I don't water the day before I harvest the stuff I let the plants stress out from one Easter before we harvest them and that includes all the herbs that we just talked about for storage again to harden the leaves and to give us a better opportunity to have good quality product. Some of the crops that we grow we d. hydrate all that and we need to talk to you a little bit about that the point I want to stress here though is that it's important. About how we go about preparing your crops for storage before there her of the stand as it is whatever the steps are that you take after you harvest the crop whether it's freezing canning drying whatever and you want a really good quality product in order to go into that period of storage and the curing process and the you know the steps that you take culturally with their crops prior to that are really important many instances folks will harvest green beans for example of they'll finally get sick of eating green beans so you decide they're going to canned the rest so they just kind of scavenge the last. You know portion of the crop because they don't grow big like I wrote we talked about that this morning and you end up with kind of a mediocre product that way why not have the best thing both fresh and with the store product that you freeze dry this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.


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