One thing every gardener wishes they had is a larger pantry, a space to store all of the food they grow and that could make it easier to store things well into the long and cold winter. Thankfully, in the Midwest we have basements and areas that we can usually store things, but without the proper tools – sometimes it’s still not the most ideal situation.
While we were working on updating our basement flooring, one huge part of the basement renovation was creating a pantry space for storage. Not only of the bulk items we order and keep on hand but of the home-canned goods I spend hours preserving each season. It would be nice to not only have an organized pantry where things were easily accessible, but also a way to have long-term storage for several of my larger items we grow in the garden, that we can enjoy them for months to come. Because let’s face it, stuff just seems to go bad sitting on the counter or in the wire baskets or bowls we have.
So this season, we’ve partnered with Gardeners.com to fix one of the last storage solutions in our pantry. They sent us one of their 9 drawer Orchard Racks to help us store some of our larger crops as well as to help them keep them for months to come. The drawers are completely removable to allow you to customize the high you may need to store items in and it is perfect for holding apples, onions, squash, garlic, and even used to dry herbs. The wooden drawers have open slats that allow airflow between shelves and it helps prevent things from aging too fast or going bad. For smaller item storage like garlic, or to help prevent the paper from the onions from sliding down, Gardeners even offers bamboo baskets that fit perfectly in the drawers.
Due to the size of the orchard rack, make sure you have it shipped right to you – and keep in mind you will have to assemble it when it arrives. While this might seem daunting at first, it’s really just the sides that need to be secured with the cross beams and back support. The drawers are already assembled, and you just have to use a power screwdriver and a level to put the pieces together.
Once assembled, using the Orchard rack is as easy as can be. Just fill up the drawers with your produce and keep it in a cooler space so that they can be stored longer. Reminiscent of the old orchard racks that previous generations used, the cut Chinese fir not only wont react with your produce and it means you will have squash and onions for months after you harvest them. The wood also lets off a fresh smell that will fill the pantry.
Over the years we’ve tried a lot of different preservation methods of our garden hauls, from canning, to drying and even freezing. But finding a long term storage for the squash, onions and potatoes was always the challenge. We’ve had the 9 drawer Orchard Rack assembled and in our basement for over a month now and have been using it with the produce that used to fill up our small kitchen counters. Now, we have a longer term storage option and as we grow and begin to collect our bounty from our garden.
Adding an orchard rack and any other harvest-keeping solution to your home pantry space is an investment in not only your garden but also in the future meals for your family. Gardeners does offer a smaller 6 drawer option if you are limited in space or don’t need as much storage space for your garden goods. We’re loving having this option in our pantry and the ability to store more food through the colder months and to continue enjoying the harvest we get from our garden.