One of the challenges I've been facing with producing my own food is the issue of storage. There are three types of storage I woefully lack, and it makes for mess, frustration and inefficiency. One of this winter's projects is to get myself all set up for next year, so my house doesn't explode with food that becomes clutter, I don't loose food to rot, and there aren't any pest problems.
The first of storage is what I think of as "fresh" storage. I am looking for stack able bins where I can keep fresh fruits on hand for immediate use in the kitchen. Right now, I am finding that scrap cardboard boxed full of tomatoes are stacking up all over the counter, and that has to stop. I need bins that are easily accessible yet out of the way where I can have a meal or two's supply of onions, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, and carrots. In addition, I'd like another set to hold apples, bananas, oranges and any fresh fruits. These need to be on hand for the kids to grab as snacks. Cost will be a factor, I figure I'll need at least 10. I'll check into building some, and also be checking Craig's list to see if any come up for sale cheap.
The second type f storage I need is what I call "dry" storage. Think root cellar area. I have wanted a real root cellar for many years now, but most plans call for a lot of building, expense or both. That may end up happening, but it will be a few years, and until that day, I'll have to settle for the linen closet. I currently have pumpkins in my bedroom closet, and they are doing really well. I think I'll adapt the hall closet to cool long term storage of potatoes, onion, carrots, and other roots, as it turns out the closets are the most temperature stable rooms in the house and on the property.
The third type of storage I need I call "wet" storage. This is the happy place where I can leave crocks of pickles to ferment, ginger ale to mature, and the like. It needs to be cool and stable, yet accessible, a many of these projects-in-progress require attention daily. This will be the most challenging area, which explains why my pickling career has yet to be started. So far I am thinking of clearing off a special shelf in the pantry, but it gets quite warm there and that could be a problem. Perhaps with winter coming, it will be a different situation.
I think the first priority will be the fresh storage. I'm going to get busy sourcing the bins, and let you know what I come up with. If I find any spectacular deals or ideas, I'll be sure to share. If you have any solutions too, I'd love to hear it! I'll keep you posted!