Posts Tagged ‘straw bale cold storage’

Potatoes in Cold Storage

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Cold Storage in the Barn

It’s the end of January. We still have a lot of potatoes stored in the barn. Barn temperatures are often well below freezing but the potatoes are in good shape. Last fall, before I put the potatoes in storage, I modified my straw bale walls and replaced the bales on top with insulating foam panels. It was a good move. It’s way easier sliding off panels than wrestling straw bales when you need some potatoes. The barn stays cleaner and the potatoes seem to be in better shape than the last year.

Mover’s Blankets

Below the foam I placed some mover’s blankets, which are good insulators, to take up a lot of the gaps.

Shipping Crate Set in Straw Bales

The bales surround a wood shipping crate that has been re-purposed as a storage bin.

Potatoes in the Crate

The potato varieties are separated in the crate by walls made of scrap press-board. I mixed some loose straw in with the potatoes and that seems to be a plus in potato longevity.

Potatoes Ready to Cook

We’re pacing ourselves on potato consumption, trying to get most of them eaten before serious sprouting and shriveling sets in. Our improved above ground cold storage system is helping us enjoy all those good potatoes we grew.

Straw Bale Potato Storage

Thursday, November 19th, 2015
200 Pounds of Potatoes

200 Pounds of Potatoes

We had a huge potato harvest as the result of growing three beds rather than two and using seed potatoes from Wood Prairie Farm that gave us a much greater yield than previous seed sources. We ended up with over 300 pounds of potatoes from a 30 pound planting. I knew that if we didn’t find better storage than the basement, we would lose a lot of crop, so I made a quick cold storage set-up out of straw bales and an old wooden shipping crate.  Using a small stall in our little barn and about 20 small square straw bales, we put around 200 pounds into storage. The five varieties are in the picture above.

Shipping Crate in Straw

Shipping Crate in Straw

The wood box is nested inside straw bales stacked up in a barn stall.

Straw Bale Cold Storage

Straw Bale Cold Storage

The potatoes were harvested by early October and they are looking very good.  We’ve had a mild onset of winter so they haven’t been exposed to a hard freeze yet, but the barn gets pretty cold so I hope the straw does its job.  I’m sure we’ll get them well into next year. I’ve used this set-up for carrots and other root crops, previously, and I’m quite confident it will work well for the potatoes. This isn’t the slickest option for cold storage, but it is definitely very easy.