Getting the harvest in before it’s winter

chicory, root parsley, black radish, carrots, parsnips
A sample of some of my root crops. From top right going counterclockwise are chicory root, root parsley, Spanish black radish, carrots, and parsnips.


Winter is almost here astronomically speaking, but speaking meteorologically winter is only 10 days away.

Root crop harvest so far
One hundred pounds of carrots, 90 pounds of beets, twenty-five pounds of root chicory (cicoria di chiavari), fifteen pounds of parsnips and a few pounds each of root parsley and Spanish black radishes. There are bags of onions, shallots, garlic, and potatoes piled in the basement. This is the best carrot and onion harvest I’ve ever had. There are fewer bags of potatoes than last year but still plenty to carry me through until next summer.

Time to build some storage
I’m realizing I will need to build a root cellar if I keep growing so many carrots, parsnips, onions, potatoes, and beets. I’ll get by for now, but next year is the year of the root cellar. I have two plans in mind. One is for my food, the other for the chicken food. For a few years I’ve been thinking about a cool pantry in the north corner of my basement. It will not be storing massive amounts of food that require cool conditions so it won’t need to be large. There is a small window nearby that can be used for ventilation and to moderate the temperature. The chicken food storage will be barrels buried in the ground and covered with piles of hay. If it freezes that won’t be a problem since I cook their vegetable food. For now the harvest will have to be kept in a cool corner of the basement and quickly processed. Nothing will go to waste, but will be fed every day to the chickens to get them through the winter. Their eggs will be so much brighter orange, too.

9 thoughts on “Getting the harvest in before it’s winter

      1. They looked so interesting that I ordered some seeds last night! Roasted..I was thinking of eating them raw, but now you brought up my curiosity again, so I’ll read some more. Thanks! I love to grow new odd things.

        Liked by 1 person

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