Wooden garages are good for more than just storing a car. More and more people are choosing to take their garage and turn it into a more functional space, using it for many different reasons, sometimes in addition to storing a vehicle. With the accessibility of double-width or larger wooden garages, this is a trend that is sure to continue.
One way that you can use your wooden garage is as a storage area, especially for your garden. While tools are a storage item there, why not store excess produce from your garden as well? A fruitful harvest from a mature garden can produce hundreds of fruits and vegetables per season. The average family can’t eat that much, so having a place to put everything is crucial.
Here are some things you need to know about product storage in a wooden garage.
Fruits and vegetables that can be stored in your wooden garage
Some products are harder than others and more resistant to rot. That means they can be kept as is for extended periods of time, although you will eventually have to eat them or prepare them for longer storage.
Root vegetables are an option. This includes potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, ginger root … anything that grows underground. Potatoes, pumpkins, and other squash are also very easy to store. They can last for months in cool, dry conditions. While a root cellar is often preferable, you can achieve the same effect by placing them in a breathable container such as a wooden box and covering them with a heavy cloth to keep out light.
Fruits are tougher, but apples in particular can last several weeks in the same way.
When you first store your products this way, be sure to do a few things first:
Do not wash your products. Dirt actually helps keep it looking good longer.
Watch for any signs of rot or damage. This causes one to break down, which will spread to others in the batch.
Check regularly for signs of rot, bruises or pests and remove them quickly.
Separate your products by type. Some products can produce certain gases that will rot others more quickly. Therefore, keep each type of vegetable or fruit in its own container.
Consider buying a hygrometer. This will measure the humidity in your wooden garage. The higher the humidity, the faster the rot will be.
Fruits and vegetables that can be canned and stored in your wooden garage
For those who are not as suitable for dry storage, there is the option of canning. This is when you pickle or store a fruit or vegetable in a liquid, or turn it into other foods like jams or soups. The easiest way to can can is by using a pressure cooker, which seals the lids of the glass jars tightly to prevent bacteria from entering the cans while storing and spoiling the food inside.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, it is still possible to seal the jars properly. You only need a rack and a large pot. Place the rack in the pot, place the jars with the lid tightly sealed, and fill with water until two inches from the jars are submerged. Bring to a boil and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. Remove them carefully and place them on a towel, leaving them alone for twenty-four hours. When the jar has an indentation on the lid, you know it has been sealed.
Once you’ve canned your products, you can put them on a shelf in your wooden garage. It should be good for up to eighteen months, but be sure to check the caps for the indentation before use. No indentation means that the seal has been broken and it is not safe to eat.
Fruits and vegetables that can be stored in a freezer in your wooden garage
Not your thing canned? Your wooden garage is a great place for a freezer, which can be used for a number of different foods. Vegetables and fruits are great to freeze because they are then ready to be eaten and used for a meal at any time, no matter how busy you are. Or they can be thawed for a snack later, mixed with a smoothie … whatever you need.
Fruits and vegetables maintain their nutritional value just as well when frozen as fresh. But to get the most out of them, you need to freeze them at their peak. Sort rotten or bruised products and wash them well. Blanching them with salt water will help them better retain their flavor and texture when thawed. You can also save some in a sugar base, like berries and apples.
Once frozen, products can last up to eighteen months before they start to lose their flavor or texture. But the fruit in particular is soft enough to be eaten best before it has completely thawed, which will prevent it from losing some of its firmness.
Wood garages maintain their temperature better than other styles due to the breathability of the natural qualities of wood. So it’s an amazing place to store a freezer or even two, without freezing too much.
Consider purchasing Energy Star rated appliances for this purpose, which will save you money on your energy bill and is better for the environment.
Preparing your wooden garage
Some other ways to prepare your wooden garage to store your garden products:
Make sure it is free of pests that can threaten your fruits and vegetables. Get rid of spiders, moths, flies, rodents, etc.
Clean all the corners. You don’t want cobwebs, dirt, or dust, so keep your wooden garage clean and clean.
Install plenty of shelf space. Shelves are amazing for canned goods. Make sure you have enough shelves to keep your food separate from your non-food.
Check your garage for damage regularly. Wood warps, cracks, holes, and seal breaks can create problems, including threats to your products.