Tutorial On Choosing Winter Keepers For Your Garden

A Winter Pear Tree

There are clues in the seed catalogs for which varieties to plant for the root cellar.  Look for descriptions like:

  • long keeper
  • stores well
  • winter hardy
  • winter variety
  • winter type
  • excellent keeping qualities
  • good for storage

A favorite of mine is Longkeeper Tomato.  They have a very thick skin so they store very well.  You harvest the unripe fruit or the whole plant and hang it upside down in a sheltered shed, barn or cold room.  They’ll continue to ripen over the next 2-3 months to an orange-red color, prolonging your supple of fresh tomatoes long after the frost nips the others.

For potatoes you’ll want to plant what are called “late season” varieties such as Russian Banana, Kennebec or Mom’s Old White.

Any fruit which is described as “russet” which means that the skin of the fruit thickens and  develops a reddish orange net on the skin as it ages.  Russeting usually is an indication of being a good keeper.

Here is a list of some of my favorite seed companies:

1.  Annapolis Seeds, NS, Canada
www.annapolisseeds.com902 825 4732
2.  William Dam Seeds, Ontario, Canada
www.damseeds.com905 628 6641
3.  Hope Seeds, NB, Canada
www.hopeseeds.com506 375 6934
4.  Mycoflor, Quebec, Canada (francais)
www.mycoflor.ca819 876 5972
5.  Seeds Of Diversity, Ontario, Canada
www.seeds.ca1 866 509 7333
6.  High Mowing Seeds, Vermont, USA
www.highmowingseeds.com802 472 6174
7.  Horizon Herbs, Oregon, USA
www.horizonherbs.com541 846 6704
8.  Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Maine, USA
www.johnnyseeds.com877-564 6697

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About thegreenlifefarm

The Green Life Farm welcomes people who are on a path toward sustainability, increased environmental consciousness and mindfulness. We are 80% food self sufficient, off the grid for lighting, have reduced our wastes by 90% and have become more and more producers instead of consumers. The Green Life Farm is a place to meet kindred spirits and experience how it could be to reconnect with people and nature. Our farm is always open to visitors interested in alternative energy, living, thinking, building, husbandry, forestry, cooking and farming. In summer, our place is open to campers. Our names are: Bonnie and Sylvain. Calling 902-665-2084 is best because we are not online, thegreenlifefarm@gmail.com, every day. You are welcome to bring your pet. Be ready to use an outhouse! All visits include harvesting (even in winter), preparing and sharing a meal…and good discussions
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