Storing carrots

I see you talk of keeping carrots in a cooler in basement. Just how do you do this? Do you cure them, wash them, wrap them, put them in sand, or just naked? Please enlighten me.

Deb Clark
Pine River, Wisconsin

I just wash the carrots in cold water and drain well in the sink. The tops have already been twisted off in the garden so they’re topless. After they are drained, I take them down to the basement where we have large, cleaned coolers. I lay them in the coolers and shut the top. This holds in enough humidity in our unheated basement that stays about 40 degrees all winter so the carrots keep quite well. A friend has an extra fridge and holds hers in plastic bags with holes punched in them, overwinter. That’s pretty much the same thing as we use; they like higher humidity and cold temperatures. — Jackie

Canning soup

I’m wanting to can a beef, vegetable, and barley soup. The vegetables I want to use are already dried. Is this a good idea to use dried vegetables in a canning recipe? If so, how would I go about doing it? It seems like I would need more liquid than normal or should I rehydrate the veggies first? Also, I have seen mixed information regarding including barley in canning recipes. Some say that you should not can barley. Any input? Could you tell me how long and at what pressure I should can this soup?

Rebecca Whisonant
Chester, South Carolina

What I do is make up a big batch of beef broth in a stockpot. Then toss in the dehydrated veggies and simmer until they are plumped. Once this is accomplished, add your barley and go ahead and can up the soup. You’ll probably be adding some smaller chunks of beef so you would process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. (If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for instructions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude.) While you should not can barley alone, adding a little to soups is no problem. — Jackie


  1. Thanks, Jackie for the great idea to use chest coolers for storing carrots. Not having a cold room makes it challenging to store root vegetables and squashes over the winter. I’ve tried the sand and the plastic bags with holes in the fridge but this is much neater and won’t need my limited fridge space.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us. We learn so much from your experience and your helpful suggestions and tips are much appreciated.

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