Yes We Have No Apples – This Locavore Lasted the Winter

April 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

Rob Gardner

In helping on the Local Kids get material for our Passover Seder, I got the somewhat unexpected surprise, we had no apples.  OK, not totally true, we had the remains of apples.  There were various bad apples pulled away from their comrades so as to not spoil the whole bunch.  We have compost apples.  Getting to the end of the root cellar in the sky season with only compost apples is a very good thing.  A bullseye.  We lasted another local winter.  We did an excellent job this year, if I say so myself, of balancing the need to have local foods on hand with the need to have too much local food on hand.  We did not waste.

We do own stored food still, which we moved last week away from the heating up attic to the now cooler basement or the always cool, basement fridge.  We do need to finish a fair amount of potatoes.  We need to use the remaining rutabagas even sooner.  We also have beets and carrots to finish and a few small squash too.  As we work to wrap up winter, we begin on Spring.  We have purchased our first outdoor crops watercress and green garlic.   With warming hoophouses, we no longer need to look at lettuces as a luxury.  We will expect soon the earliest radishes and the over-sized, over-wintered carrots and parsnips.  Yet, we do not tire of the roots.  We took advantage of being in Wisconsin this weekend to pickup two more celery root! (Plus a green cabbage.)  We will also root out the remaining Michigan apples that can be found around town.  This Local Family lasted the Winter and looks forward to the Spring.

Our current inventory is below.

Basement Storage

  • New! – Potatoes – All of the potatoes from upstairs have been brought to the basement.  These include russets, yukon golds, some all-blues and other all purpose potatoes – Potatoes last used as mash, with rutabagas for Passover Seder; before that, used some potatoes in a Rick Bayless spinach dish, see below.
  • Winter Squash – acorn, pie pumpkin, butternut (2) – UPDATE: The last blue triamble, the last of the large squash rescued a Passover disaster.  See: frozen apple sauce looks a lot like frozen chicken stock.  Next thing you know, matzoh ball soup tasted a tad too sweet.  On the other hand, this mixture with a pureed squash and curry spices tasted just fine a few nights later.
  • Red onions – At the last Oak Park Farmer’s Market of ’09, way last October, we purchased 25 lbs of red onions for $8.  The fact that in April we still find usable onions as we have to toss soft onions made the deal quite a deal.
  • White onions – As the white onions have stayed hard and sprout-free, we have been saving these
  • Canned tomatoes – whole, sauce, puree
  • Spiced peaches
  • Peach chutney
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Misc. pickles, jams, jellies, relishes
  • Dried beans
  • Local oats
  • New! – Chestnuts – 1 lb – from attic
  • New! – 25 lb of local corn meal – from attic
  • New! – 5 lb local buckwheat – from attic

Basement Fridge

  • Cauliflower – yes, this cauliflower remains brown but could probably go into a soup – UPDATE: It’s still there
  • Celery root (2 + 2) – New!
  • Rutabaga (4) - UPDATE: We used on Passover the big rutabaga purchased in Wisconsin a few weeks ago.  The rutabagas in the basement fridge are the ones left from the attic
  • Sweet potatoes – New! – UPDATE: Used some in a Passover kugel
  • New! – Beets – from attic
  • New! – Turnips – from attic
  • New! – Sunchokes - 8 lbs – from attic

Basement Freezer

  • Frozen fruits – blueberries, grapes, cherries, peaches – used some fruit is a crisp last Friday
  • Frozen veg – peas, corn, greens, pureed squash, tomato puree, dried tomato – Used some greens in a dinner with lentils
  • Local meat – UPDATE: Used several packages of lamb for a Passover stew; Found still more ground beef for a Passover matzoh-beef pie

Kitchen Fridge

  • New! – Green Garlic
  • Leek
  • Parsley root (2)
  • Turnip
  • Homemade quince-apple membrillo
  • Local eggs
  • Assorted cheeses
  • Beauty heart radishes – New! – USED
  • Lettuce mix UPDATEUsed lettuces from Wisconsin but got new Spring lettuce mix
  • Rocket - UPDATE – See lettuce
  • Watercress
  • Spinach - UPDATE – Used in the Rick Bayless dish of wilted spinach with chorizo and potatoes
  • Carrots – UPDATE: Finished the few carrots left upstairs and then moved the two 1 lb packages of winter carrots left to the kitchen fridge
  • Parsnips – UPDATE: Used the parsnips in the kugel


  • Black walnuts
  • Dried fruits – strawberries, apricots, peaches
  • Shallots – New!

Root Cellar in the Sky – No Food in the Attic