Storing your autumn surplus

8 Nov
Hard at work: Amy the maid in the kitchen

Hard at work: Amy the maid in the kitchen

By this time of year the Wordsworth’s maid, Amy, would have had all the lovely fruit and vegetables from the garden stored away in the cellar or made into preserves or pickles to feed the family through the winter.

If you have unused fruit but no cellar, it will store just as well in a garage or shed, provided that it’s cool, dark, frost-free and – even more important – free from mice!

The best way to store fruit is on slatted shelves so air can circulate. Shallow wooden crates are a good second choice, or even polystyrene trays will do.

Always check fruit for blemishes that could turn to rot, and if possible put into storage when slightly under ripe as it will keep better. Put apples, pears etc stalk upwards, make sure they’re not touching, so rot can’t spread, and check them regularly.

The same cool, dark places are also good for vegetables. The Georgians packed them in damp sand, but wooden boxes or paper sacks work just as well for root crops, and onions strung together can hang from hooks or rafters.

For more information on storing fruit and vegetables, have a look at the Royal Horticultural Society website.

Ripe for picking: Keswick Codlin heritage apples

Ripe for picking: Keswick Codlin heritage apples

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