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Summer is a great time to saturate the body with vitamins, trace elements and fiber contained in fresh vegetables. However, summer is short, and vegetables should be on our table in any season. Only with proper nutrition can you preserve youth and health for many years. This is where the question arises: how and where to store vegetables in order to extend the vegetable season. One of the important food products is all kinds of cabbage: white cabbage, red cabbage, Peking cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and many others. Some types of cabbage are stored in the cellar until spring.
Important! If you follow a few rules, you can save cabbage until spring, and eat tasty and healthy vegetables throughout the cold season.
In the markets and in stores, cabbage is sold all year round, but its appearance does not always inspire confidence, the price does not always correspond to the quality, and in the spring the cost of vegetables becomes sky-high. It is no secret that in industrial production, cabbage is treated with chemicals so that it grows better and is stored longer. The conclusion suggests itself: if a person is not indifferent to what to eat, then you need to grow it yourself, and figure out in advance how to put vegetables in storage for the winter, how to save cabbage until the next vegetable season.
Only late-ripening varieties of cabbage are suitable for winter storage, since they have a higher density compared to the heads of early-maturing varieties and are less prone to rotting. For the choice of cabbage variety, see the table.
If you don’t have a personal plot, or you don’t have the opportunity to grow cabbage on your own, you buy it in a store or in the market, and you don’t know which variety is in front of you, then visually determine whether it is possible to keep this cabbage in the cellar in winter. Choose medium-sized forks that are round, slightly flattened on top, and firm. Oblong and loose cabbage heads are unsuitable for long-term storage.
Preparing cabbage for storage
Cabbage grown in its own garden and intended for winter storage must be harvested in accordance with the growing period; it is not necessary to overexpose it in the garden. Choose a dry, warm day for harvesting. Dig up the cabbage carefully, peel the stump from the ground, but do not remove it. Sort the harvested cabbage. Leave small and damaged cabbage for harvesting. Leave 2-3 wrapper leaves, fold the cabbage under the canopy for ventilation. Keep it away from precipitation or direct sunlight. Leave the roots or cut them, depending on the storage method you choose.
Long-term storage methods
The most common is storing cabbage in a cellar. Heads of cabbage can be hung, wrapped in paper or plastic wrap, you can cover the cabbage with sand, or even dip it in a clay mash. The temperature range for storing cabbage is small, from 1 to 3 degrees C0... We will consider each of these methods in detail and show you how to prepare the cellar itself.
Wrap each head of cabbage in several layers of paper. This method isolates the heads of cabbage from each other, preventing them from touching and infecting each other. Paper creates additional thermal insulation, protects from moisture and light. Put the heads of cabbage wrapped in paper neatly on the shelves or put them in drawers. Keep the paper dry. Once wet, the paper will cause accelerated deterioration of the cabbage.
Advice! Don't use old newspapers. Lead in ink is harmful to health.
You can save cabbage in the cellar with polyethylene. Take plastic wrap in rolls. Wrap each fork tightly with several layers of plastic. Elastic, well-fitting polyethylene will keep the cabbage until spring, ensuring moisture resistance. Place the packed cabbage on the shelves, or put in boxes.
In the pyramid
Build a wooden deck about 10 cm above the floor, leaving small gaps between the floorboards. In the lower row, in a rectangle, lay the largest and densest cabbage forks. Put smaller heads of cabbage in the second layer in a checkerboard pattern. Continue laying out the pyramid, placing the heads of cabbage on top that will be used first. Air circulates between the cabbage, preventing decay. The disadvantage of this method is that if the cabbage deteriorates in the bottom row, the whole procedure will have to be repeated, removing the rotten head of cabbage.
The easiest, although not the most efficient way. After cutting off the stalks, removing excess leaves, put the heads of cabbage in ventilated wooden boxes. Place the boxes not at the very bottom of the cellar, but on pallets, this will slow down the spoilage of the heads. You do not need to cover with a lid, let the air circulate freely inside the box with cabbage.
Troubled, dirty, but quite successful method. Place the cabbage in large boxes, sprinkle with dry sand in layers. You can simply pour sand on the bottom of the cellar and put the cabbage heads in the sandy hill.
An efficient, environmentally friendly, but space-consuming method. For this storage option, the roots are not cut. Fix an inch board under the ceiling, keeping the distance to the walls of the cellar at least 30 cm, drive nails into the side of the board at equal distances so that the largest head of cabbage passes freely between them. Attach one end of the rope to the stump, the other to the nail. One head of cabbage should hang on one nail. The crop is ventilated, clearly visible, you can immediately notice damage. For a small harvest, this is an ideal storage option.
In a clay shell
The way is original, and nowadays exotic. Coat each head of cabbage with clay on all sides (dilute the clay with water until sour cream is thick). Dry to dry completely. Protected cabbage should be put on shelves or put in boxes.
Any of these methods of storing cabbage will be effective if the cellar is properly prepared for winter.
Preparing the cellar for winter
If your site has a free-standing cellar or basement under the house that can be used for winter storage of vegetables, inspect this room in advance and eliminate the shortcomings so that by the time the cabbage harvest is collected and stored, the cellar is dried and disinfected. If the cellar was previously used for storing crops, remove plant residues and debris from there. The cellar must be well waterproofed to prevent groundwater seepage. Signs of high humidity are drops of water on the walls and ceiling of the cellar and stale, musty air. Ventilate and dry the cellar thoroughly by opening doors and hatches. A good solution for normalizing humidity is supply and exhaust ventilation, if it is not provided, then boxes with salt or charcoal can be placed in the corners, this will also allow at least to some extent to lower the humidity. About a month before laying vegetables, whitewash the walls and ceiling with quicklime: it dries the air and disinfects the surface.
If the cellar is severely infected with mold and fungus, decontaminate it:
- Remove visible molds mechanically;
- Seal the room by covering the ventilation openings;
- Place the quicklime in a barrel at a rate of 2-3 kg per 10 m3 cellar, fill it with water and quickly leave the cellar, tightly closing the doors behind you. After two days, the cellar must be opened and thoroughly ventilated;
- In case of severe infection, repeat the procedure after a week, or use a sulfur checker, acting strictly according to the instructions for its use;
- Carry out the prevention of the appearance of rodents: close up all the cracks, install the mesh on the ventilation ducts;
- Spread out substances that repel rodents, or poisonous feeding, arrange mousetraps.
Storing cabbage in a trench
In the absence of a cellar, you can store the cabbage crop in a trench, for this on a hill you need to dig a trench 60 cm wide and 50 cm deep. A layer of straw is laid out at the bottom, and heads of cabbage are placed on it in two rows. Further, there is a layer of straw again, on top of this embankment you need to put a wooden shield, and sprinkle it on top with a layer of earth, 20 cm thick. When frosty weather sets in, the trench needs additional insulation with straw.
Attention! This method has a number of disadvantages: cabbage quickly rots, it cannot withstand severe frosts, it is very inconvenient to get heads of cabbage from such a storage, especially in rain or snow.
Watch a video that will visually help you learn how to store cabbage in a cellar: