5 Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh

Go Underground

Potatoes, onions, squash and garlic aren't meant for the refrigerator. Instead, they should be stored in cool, dark places, such as kitchen cabinets and pantries; an article in Mother Earth News even suggested putting squash under your bed if you're short on space. Be sure that potatoes in particular get lots of darkened slumber, as they turn green when exposed to light.

Root vegetables can last for months when stored properly, making them a wonderful fresh option when other vegetables are out of season. One option for storing these kinds of vegetables is to put them back underground in a root cellar. A root cellar should be kept just above freezing for best results -- a basement will work only if it doesn't also have a furnace or other heating device. If you don't want to invest in a full-fledged cellar, you could also bury boxes or barrels underground, or cover a shallow trench with a few layers of blankets or mulch [source: Cavagnaro].

If you're putting in vegetables underground, be sure to rodent-proof the area, and remember that you don't want the vegetables to actually freeze. Freezing is an option, though, and we'll consider it on the next page.

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