Last Saturday was time to do one of our routine sorting jobs in the root cellar. We knew it was needed since our 30+ degree weather is causing the temp in the cellar to rise degree by degree. Not good for keeping the environment cool for as long into spring as we can.
Papa Pea hit on a great idea for trying to keep the cellar a little cooler and at the same time add moisture/humidity which we're usually lacking in our cellar.
He filled pails with snow which we carried down. I thought we were just going to let the pails full of the snow sit on the gravel floor, but as he explained, if we dumped the snow onto the ground, it would still give off cold air, the melted snow would seep down into the gravel (and ground) and add some needed moisture.
I wanted to build little snow people to play among the apples, beets, potatoes, etc., but for some reason he didn't want to take the time to do that. (He's such a spoil sport.)
Sorting the apples was first on the agenda. Yes, we did find quite a few that had started to spoil, but still have several remaining boxes of them that look really good.
We even have a few of the sweeter eating apples left (the rest are for cooking/baking) like these we brought into the kitchen. They've developed a few blemishes but are still firm. We have maybe twenty more of them left. (Funny how the tastier apples are always the first to disappear.)
Nearly everything else in the cellar looked good considering the time of year.
The cabbages we stored hanging from their roots have lasted longer than with any other method we've tried. The remaining green ones are looking better than the red. (Drat. I prefer red cabbage.) The outer leaves are wrinkled and soft and not nice, but the bulk of the heads of the green cabbages are still firm. The red ones, not so much. Most of them are on their way to the poultry.
We did pull out and toss the pail of kohlrabi we thought we would cook up and feed to the poultry over winter. Even though Papa Pea simmered the chunked up kohlrabi over night on the stove in the garage, the . . . um, uh, . . . aroma . . . okay, AWFUL SMELL was too much for us to tolerate. I guess an old kohlrabi is not a good kohlrabi.
It will be interesting to see how long the clumps of snow last in the root cellar. We strive to keep the temperature about 35-37 degrees, but it's already in the low 40s. Another sign spring really is approaching.
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