I hate food waste, that's one of the reasons I'm trying to be more organised with our food storage (the other being I'm tight). So I was a little annoyed the other day when I could see some our our squash harvest going bad.
|It happens so quick and before you know it the mould has spread.|
Squash normally keep really well, but they need the right environment to keep for a long time. Normally we store them in a box in the dining room, and we find that at room temperature they keep well into May and last year we even had them store into August.
|Where mouldy squashes have touched, I'll have to use these fairly soon or they'll go off as well.|
Last seasons crop was so big that we didn't have the space to keep them all in the dinning room, so I stored some in the shed and workshop. The conditions in there are much colder and we're beginning to see the affects from that. Some squash are starting to go mouldy and because I've got them packed in tight together (which I know I shouldn't, be needs must) this mould spreads really fast. The other day I chucked out half a dozen squash and a large one went to the chickens (it was on the turn but they didn't complain).
|Wasted food - only good for the compost bin now.|
It goes to show the importance of good food storage and the importance of checking your stored food. I knew I'd have problems storing them where I had them but I had no other choice. My long term plan is to build a "food storage shed" built out of block with different areas to store the different produce that I grow; there's no point in growing it if you can't use it before it goes off. The shed will ideally be thermostatically controlled and heavily insulated with adjustable ventilation and completely rodent proof - I'm hoping to start building it this year so watch this space!
I think that food storage is one of the key points on the road to self sufficiency. In the past how good you were at it would have directly dictated your families future, especially at this time of year when you'd see your food reserves start to diminish.
Anyone else lost food this season due to poor storage? Time for some confessions!