Winter crop storage can increase income and profit for growers by extending the marketing period for crops beyond harvest. The market potential for winter storage crops is large and growing. The demand for local (and organic) produce continues to outpace supply, and some food-conscious consumers are matching their diet to the seasonal availability of produce.
The demand for crops such as carrots, beets, winter squash, cabbage, onions, garlic and sweet potatoes is significant and represents a largely untapped market for local growers. The storage potential for all these crops is such that local produce could be provided successfully until March or April if growers had the appropriate storage facilities. Retail stores represent just one portion of the marketplace. Restaurants and institutional food services continue to buy more and more local produce, and many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms offer winter share boxes to their members. If proper storage conditions are maintained, crops harvested in fall can be stored in bins or bulk piles for 2 months up to 12 months depending on the crop.
Resources on this website will help you plan, design and operate a cold storage facility and avoid some of the common pitfall that happen.