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15 Crops that Keep in Food Storage

Planning ahead for an emergency or a time in need will allow you to have enough resources to last through a period of time when they may otherwise be unavailable. By planting enough storage crops to last for at least a few months, you can have a stockpile to feed your family. Start preparing your food storage by researching the most fertile crops to be grown in your specific area. It is important to choose the right seed, and be sure to devote a section of land to your crops that will help sustain them before they are preserved for food storage. Here are 15 crops that keep well in food storage.

Carrots can survive in the ground through a period of light frost, but it is important to dig them out prior to the ground completely freezing for longer storage potential. Carrots can last for up to 6 months when stored between 32-35 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity.

Storing onions in a mesh bag away from light will keep them edible for 10 to 12 months.

Store beets by layering them in sand in a box, starting with the largest on the bottom and using up the smallest beets first.

Store celeriac in a dark and dry place for ultimate longevity.

Late season potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, are known for their winter storage capabilities. Keep the potatoes in the soil after they have finished growing until the season is over, allowing the skins to thicken up, resisting scratching during the harvest.

In order to be sweet, parsnips should be left underground until frost, but removed from the ground before it completely freezes. To store parsnips, layer them the same as you would for beets. The ideal storage temperature is 32- 35˚F with 90% humidity. Parsnips can last up to 5 months in storage.

As with other root vegetables, in-ground storage is the easiest and least expensive way to store turnips. You can build a root cellar in an unheated basement by partitioning off a corner and installing insulation and a solid door. This will create a refrigeration unit.

Dried Beans
Dried beans and even freeze dried food will store for years if they are kept under proper conditions. Dried beans provide the diet with a nonperishable protein, which is important to our health.

Lentils must be dried for many weeks prior to storing them to prevent them from growing mold and toxins. Store dried lentils in a cool, dry area in an airtight container.

Dried Field Peas
Similar to dried beans, peas can be dried and last an impressive amount of time. If stored properly, you can count on your peas being fresh for several years, so this is a great and nutritious food to stock up on.

Almonds provide a lot of calories and protein in a small space. Store almonds in the coolest and driest place possible to ensure they stay fresh. They are best stored frozen. Almonds will typically keep for about a year.

Walnuts have the added benefit of consisting of more fat, which is turn is filling for the body. Because these have fat that can go rancid, these are suggested to be frozen for as long as possible to lengthen their shelf life.

Freeze Dried Apples
These fruits provide very valuable vitamins through the winter. Most fruit, especially those that have been freeze dried, last the longest when they are stored at a very low temperature with a high level of humidity.

Try not to store pears or other seemingly perishable fruits in close proximity to roots and other vegetables. This is because the ethylene gas that pears give off might cause vegetables to deteriorate faster. Pears last longest if they are picked prior to being fully ripened, and then stored in single layers separated by a piece of paper.

Similar to pears, these should be stored before they are fully ripened. They can also be canned.

Your crop storage method can be simple or complex, but be realistic about how your family eats between gardening seasons. As with other garden planning, a small area that is well taken care of is better than a large area with wasted food.


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