5 Ways to store carrots
Can you keep your carrots fresh even without access to a root cellar? Absolutely! Here are my 5 favorite ways to store carrots at home.
I managed to harvest all of my winter carrots before the first snow came, and now it's time to store them. I'm glad I was able to get them inside before it got too cold. Harvesting vegetables is a lot less enjoyable when it's freezing in the garden. We grow winter carrots here at home simply to have carrots to eat late in winter. I sowed the summer carrots in July and was able to harvest them for several weeks after that. They can survive a few cold spells, but they won't last long when winter comes. Time to store carrots!
There are a few different ways to store carrots. My goal is to find methods where you can store large quantities at once since the carrots we save for winter need to last a few months. I often grow an entire bed (around 20 ft or 6 meters long) of winter carrots, just to feel sure that we get enough.
Here are my 5 favorite methods, perfect for anyone who doesn't have access to a root cellar or similar.
How to store carrots:
A storage clamp is simply put a storage space underground, where you can keep mainly your root vegetables. You can make a clamp outside, or in a greenhouse, if you want to. I have made several simple clamps in my greenhouse, by simply burying a large bucket or basket filled with root vegetables.
I made a lovely root vegetable clamp in 2013, and shared my journey building it on YouTube. Unfortunately, the video seems to have disappeared since then. But, I did find a series of pictures showing the finished clamp:
Crate filled with peat
Traditionally, carrots were stored in sand, in a cool space. For example a barn. We don't really have a good space for this type of storage though, so I decided to put my carrots in crates and buckets filled with peat instead. It works really well!
Store in a cool space
If you happen to have access to a cool space where you can store your vegetables, this is of course the optimal solution. But the tricky part is finding the right temperature, so that the vegetables stay fresh through the winter months. If it's too hot, the vegetables will dry out. But too low temperatures can ruin the vegetables too. I usually put my carrot buckets in an unheated part of my house, with a mat or a layer of newspapers over the buckets to create a little condensation in there. This will help keep the carrots fresh.
The smartest way to store vegetables might just be to leave them in their beds outside of course. This is a slightly riskier method, but it usually works really well.
I often store a batch of carrots in the freezer too. It's so convenient to just grab a few frozen carrots whenever I'm cooking. It's not really an option for larger quantities though. More often, I use the freezer for small batches of tiny carrots. I have written a few articles about freezing vegetables here on the blog, check out:
Other ways to store carrots
I know that there are plenty of other ways to store carrots of course. Some people store them fresh in crates filled with damp moss, others put their carrots in containers with a little water in the bottom. There are of course plenty of other ways to deal with your carrots. For example, fermenting, pickling or drying them.
Storing your carrots in the root cellar (in buckets and crates filled with sand or peat) might just be the best way though. This environment is the right combination of damp and cool, the perfect conditions for the carrots.
Carrots are possibly the most important fresh vegetable we have here at home. Our four children love munching on them, and I'm mostly interested in methods to keep them fresh longer. Overwintering, making a clamp or using buckets in a cool space are my favorite methods to store carrots.
What's your favorite method?