Pumpkins In The Closet? Really?
Yup. I got this bright idea last July to store my pumpkin harvest in my bedroom closet. Needing a place to store my squashes and root vegetables and finding the environment in the bottom of my closet both cool and stable, I tucked thirty pounds of pumpkins next to my shoes and sweaters for six months and waited to see what happened.
Very little, which is exactly what I was looking for. I was able to process some of the pumpkins, but there are still several left. Last week I did find my first casualty, I think the cat knocked a stem off one of the pumpkins while she was roaming back there and that caused it to rot. But the rest of them are in perfect condition, still as vibrant orange as the day I harvested them.
What Did You Learn?
I learned that rethinking the way I use my limited space can have real benefits. I was able to turn square footage that was being used for dust bunnies and clothes from the ’80’s into genuinely valuable space for storing food. I needed a root cellar, but had a closet. By being creative, I got both.
What Will You Do Next?
This worked, and I’m going to expand on it. Here’s how:
- visit other closets around the house and see how they are actually being utilized. Are they cool and stable? Can room be found in them to store food?
- For closets that qualify, clean them out! Get rid of the useless junk that is being stored in there and recycle it or donate it.
- Install shelving or find bins for the new closet space.
- Fill it with this year’s root and squash crop. I have in mind potatoes, onions, pumpkins, and squash. There may be more.
It looks like I have another project on my hands! As with so many things in sustainable living, this one has dual benefits – clean closets and food storage! I will be working on this as the weeks progress, and as always, I’ll keep you posted!