Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Root of the Matter

It's been a long summer . . . but I didn't need to tell you that.

An unprecedented quantity of produce has passed through my kitchen and been processed into sauces, jams, pickles, purees, relishes, frozen foods, pastes, dried vegetables, wine, and medicines. All of this in spite of a number of crop failures. 

And we’re not finished yet.  As a matter of fact the bulk of our most important crops are just beginning to flow in. 

While bean pods litter the floor, bushel baskets and all of my largest bowls now serve as my primary household decorations, filled with the goodness of this abundant harvest.  

And again, this is only a beginning.  Here’s where we get to the root of the matter, or perhaps I should say the tuber of the matter.

Potatoes need to be harvested.  Wanting to avoid grocery stores to the greatest extent possible this year, we planted very large crops of both sweet and Irish potatoes.  But, unlike grains, beans, and winter squashes; potatoes prefer a cool, humid storage environment, like a root cellar.  The problem is, we don’t have a root cellar.  And the planning, digging, concrete pouring, and so forth involved in building one was a little out of our scope this year.

So, with a bit of emergency planning, a pile of used materials, a few purchased straw bales, and some unused space under the house we found a middle ground.

So, as soon as we whitewash the walls and get a few shelves built we can give our wonderful tubers a happy, healthy, winter home.

Yes, it has been a long summer, but I can finally say, with confidence, that I look forward to the long winter that's coming on.  I hope you feel the same way.

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