Friday, February 4, 2011

Cold Storage

I was very excited when Ken and Mac completed our cold storage room in 2010. They tore down 2 block walls and ripped out an unused shower stall, sink, and toilet to open up a space that would be big enough to hold 2 deep freezers and make shift shelves to hold winter squash, pumpkins, onion, apples, potatoes, and other produce that stores well. In Spring, Fall, and Winter, this room generally stays around 40 degrees which is the perfect temperature for the long term storage of crops. This low temperature also decreases the amount of electricity that the freezers use which is greener for the environment and keeps our electric bills lower. The cold storage room is located between the garage and the lodge, so every time I walk by it, I have the opportunity to admire the non-GMO, non-hybrid heirloom veggies we raised in our vegetable gardens this year.

My favorite crop that we grew for long term storage is the jarrahdale pumpkin. It is a slate, blue-grey pumpkin that weighs 6-10 pounds. Its shape is flat, ribbed, and very decorative. It is a good keeper. As a practical matter, it was very easy to grow, but the vines do require a large amount of garden space. Also, it is very easy to clean out and cook up because the flesh is smooth rather than stringy, and it has a very delicious flesh. These pumpkins are not available at traditional groceries, but they are sometimes available at farmer's markets in Fall.

I admired our jarrahdale pumpkins sitting in our cold storage for the past 4 months instead of eating them, so they were starting to spoil a little. The majority of the inside flesh was fine, but it was definitely time to do something with them.

Ken cut open, seeded, and cubed the pumpkin.

Then, he placed the cubed pumpkin in a large stock pot and cooked it down. We will use the resulting pumpkin puree to make pumpkin soup tomorrow. The rest of the pumpkin puree will be placed in Ziploc bags and put in the freezer. We will use the puree this summer to make pumpkin bread for our guests at The Ponderosa Lodge.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I saw your comment on Chiot's Run so I came by for a visit. I am interested in the jarrahdale pumpkin..I did see for it a year ago but didn't grow. Not sure that I have room. I have outgrown my food storage area...a few shelves in the basement, so just before Christmas I took over part of a small addition to the basement - that room also stays cold most of the time. I did not think of moving my freezer there or putting in a freezer chest there. hmmm..I'll have to discuss it with my husband. Thanks for the good ideas.