[NAFEX] storing apples

John Bunker jbunker at gwi.net
Wed Jan 22 14:08:18 EST 2003

>> I'd like to keep some of the
>> keepers for winter eating.  Any thoughts on how to create some
>> ability to store the apples?

About 25 years ago I built a root cellar of cement and stone.  It's set into
the side of a small hill next to my house.    It's about 6 ft x 10 ft and
about 6 ft high.  I poured a cement roof, about 4" -6" thick as I recall.  I
terraced out from the hill around the cellar, leaving an entry way on the
north side and installing double doors -about 3 feet between doors.   The
floor is gravel.  There is vent hole which I leave open most of the year,
but close during the coldest months.  When we get heavy rains, sometimes
there's up to a foot of water that drains away after a few days.

I can fit about 40 bushels on racks along either side of the cellar.  I
store apples, carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage, rutabagas, leeks, and
cider.  I put everything in bushel boxes and set it on the shelves.  No
leaves, plastic bags, sand or anything else.  Carrots store until June with
ease.  Three days ago we had an apple tasting and sampled 15 varieties.  All
were still in perfect shape.  The temperature drops to about 30-32 degrees
and stays there most of the winter.  The key, I think, is cold temperatures
and high humidity.

John Bunker
Palermo Maine  zone 4

where it's hovering around zero today and blowing with zest

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