Here are some tips for keeping those winter storage vegetables at their freshest. It is best not to wash your vegetables until you are ready to use them. Washing bruises the skin and can remove protective oils hastening spoilage.
Remove tops, leaving about an inch of stems. Refrigerate dry, unwashed carrots in a plastic bag for two weeks or more.
Store unwashed celeriac in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for several weeks.
Chard, beet and Kale greens:
Cut beet and turnip greens from their roots; store roots separately. Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator. Thicker greens can be kept up to two weeks, but tender ones like spinach and beet greens should be eaten within a week.
Store garlic in a cool and dry space. To keep it from sprouting, keep your garlic in a paper bag.
Cut the greens from the beets and use the greens fresh. Store the roots in the refrigerator or other very cool and moist space wrapped in a plastic bag.
Red and Yellow Storage Onions may be kept in any cool, dark, dry place with adequate air circulation for several months if they were cured. Make sure to store onions and potatoes in separate places. Moisture given off by potatoes can cause onions to spoil.
Jerusalem Artichokes ( Sunchokes):
Being very thin skinned, Sunchokes shrivel quickly. You can store them for several weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or other very cool space.
Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for two weeks to a month at room temperature, longer if you can provide their ideal temperature of 40-50 degrees. Moisture causes potatoes to rot, light turns them green and nasty, and storing close to onions causes them to sprout.
Keep unwashed sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard and use them within 2-3weeks. Do not store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures can darken the potatoes and will adversely affect their taste. You can keep your sweet potatoes protected by wrapping them in newspaper which will keep them dry and dark. Sweet potatoes, while rugged in appearance, do not keep as long as regular potatoes because their fairly thin skins make them subject to spoilage. At normal room temperature, sweet potatoes should be used within a week. The smaller the sweet potato the sooner they will dry out, so use them first.
Turnips and Rutabega:
Keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, unwashed, for up to a month.
Store in a cool, dry dark place with good ventilation, like a porch or garage, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for several months, depending on the variety. Butternut squash has the longest storage life. Acorn squash and pumpkin should store for a month normally, but due to the heavy rains at the end of the season they seem to not be keeping as long this year. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.