Most of my apples are ripe long before the root cellar is cold enough. But I was lucky enough to get 5 buckets of apples today. My cellar is now in the low 40's so I think I can try storing some down there. I only have one root cellar and I already keep taters, onions, carrots, beets and parsnips in there. Yes, I know onions like it drier but this root cellar struggles to get over 80% humid. I'm usually around 33-37 degrees all winter.
I keep the carrots and beets in lidded 5 gallon buckets so they may not interact much with the apple ethylene. But the taters are fully exposed.
Is there any way to keep apples in this root cellar? If I seal them up in 5 gallon buckets will that keep their off-gassing from affecting everything else? Or would they just stew in it and go bad? Are there other ways to make it work out?
I was watching the Back to Eden video and he talked about storing apples over winter. I *think* he said he uses a fridge that isn't self-defrosting (because that sucks the moisture out of the food), and instead had a separate fridge with the door open to keep humidity down? I don't recall, but I wonder if a fridge or chest freezer converted to fridge, sitting in a root cellar condition so that it required almost no power, would keep the apples from gassing the rest?
I'm not quite a lumberjack, but that's OK, I sleep all night and I dream all day; I'll coppice trees, I'll grow my food, and compost poo and pee! With a well and off-grid solar, it's a permies life for me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FshU58nI0Ts
I think I could see how that would work Mark. My cellar isn't big enough for a freezer/fridge. I could get some picnic coolers to keep the apples in which would be relatively well sealed but yet open-able for inspection and consumption. Do the apples need to get rid of their ethylene or can they sit and stew in it without issue?
Surely someone out in the Permies world has stored apples in my kind of a situation...?
Mikejay, we put our potatoes and apples in milk crates, the apples go on the top shelves and the potatoes are on the lower shelves, my apples keep until about mid march and i've had potatoes keep into july.