As well as freezing, pickling and preserving fruit and vegetables, we also store some crops as is.
Most root vegetables can be stored in clamps—layered between straw with soil heaped over the top—or in boxes that replicate the effect of clamps by keeping the vegetable cool, slightly damp and away from the air.
We used heavy duty plastic tubs, as these are strong, stackable, reasonably ratproof and able to be carried when full (if you’re reasonably strong as they weigh about 30kg when full).
We select the larger, mature roots, reject any that are blemished or damaged, and lay them out in layers, covering each layer with sand.
When the tub is filled almost to the handles, the top layer of roots are covered with a final inch of sand and a watering can is used to sprinkle a little water over the top.
The tubs are stacked in the centre of the workshop, away from the walls where the temperatures can drop below freezing on the coldest winter nights.
The smaller, more tender roots tend to be used for pickling while damaged ones are used for chutneys or processed and frozen.
Wooden boxes or wicker baskets are also suitable, but are more prone to rat attacks. They also rot after a few seasons use.