Cold Room Storage Questions

MrsMitzy

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Alright, here comes the first of many questions I'm sure I will have! We are about to close on a 5-acre property in Texas (near Fort Worth). The house is small and has very little storage and no pantry. There is a large shop out back with a loft. Right now our plan is to build a cold storage room out in the shop under the stairs that go up to the loft. My hubby will wall it off, insulate it, add a window and AC unit, add a door, and then I think we are planning to add a CoolBot. This room will be used for storing fruits and veggies (winter squash, apples, potatoes, onions, etc) and will also house our extra fridge and 2 freezers (it's a big space). Can I store my home canned goods there too? Currently they are sitting in our pantry, but with limited space in our home and plans to do a lot more canning next year after our big summer garden, I am hoping that this is a good place to store them! I wasn't sure if the ~30ish degree temps in the cold room would be too cold for them - should we divide the space under the stairs and put like a vestibule leading in to the cold room for storing the cans? I have read that mineral oil wiped on the jars can help prevent rust, I'm just not wanting my canned goods to get too cold (is that a thing?).

I wish we could, but we cannot dig a root cellar because the ground here shifts too much (we have earthquakes and lots of foundation problems in our neck of the woods), so a cold room seems to be our only option. Any ideas?
 

Hinotori

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Don't want jars freezing. I'd make a different spot for them.

Don't keep apples and potatoes together in small spaces. The ethylene from apples causes potatoes to sprout so they don't keep as long. It actually effects several items. You can use apples in paper bags to ripen other fruit. Usually I only need to do it for tomatoes.
 

MrsMitzy

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Don't want jars freezing. I'd make a different spot for them.

Don't keep apples and potatoes together in small spaces. The ethylene from apples causes potatoes to sprout so they don't keep as long. It actually effects several items. You can use apples in paper bags to ripen other fruit. Usually I only need to do it for tomatoes.
Thank you! I didnt realize that about the apples - fortunately my kiddos love applesauce and juice so most of our apples will likely end up in jars, but that is good to know for the ones we keep to eat whole!
 

Trying2keepitReal

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Don't want jars freezing. I'd make a different spot for them.

Don't keep apples and potatoes together in small spaces. The ethylene from apples causes potatoes to sprout so they don't keep as long. It actually effects several items. You can use apples in paper bags to ripen other fruit. Usually I only need to do it for tomatoes.
yep-freezing is not good. I store ours in our old farmhouse rock/dirt basement and the lowest temp it gets down there during the winter is about 48 degrees.

Also, I don't believe onions and potatoes are supposed to be stored together for similar reasons.

I would be interested to hear how your cold storage room works out there, as I have been looking for a way to store some root veggies over the winter but struggle with mice in our basement so I end up freezing a lot.
 

tortoise

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I have a cold storage room with a mini split and coolbot. If you're going to put in the expense of those units, might as well make it a large space. Mine has 10 - 12 inches insulation, inside of cinder block walls. The room looked so small after we put all the insulation in!

It has spray foam insulation between studs and foam sheet insulation. It is very efficient, but has no ventilation if the mini split isn't running. My area had a bad COVID outbreak 11/2020 and DH was exposed so I moved into the cold room. It was amazing how long it maintained the temperature. I warmed it up to 68 before bed but would wake up way too hot near 80 degrees between me and my dog's body heat. In an enclosed space like that ethylene gas is going to be a problem, probably regardless of the room size.
Canned goods should be fine as long as your temperature stays above freezing. If you have cold weather in winter and you're just running a coolbot on an AC instead of on a mini split, the room might end up colder than you intended.
 
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Britesea

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Something else to think about with glass canning jars- If you have earthquakes, it's a good idea to try to keep them from banging into each other in a trembler. You could end up with a real mess. When I lived in California, I started using orphan socks to make cushioning sleeves for the jars. I can get 2-3 sleeves out of each sock, and I only slip one over every OTHER jar. If I ever get enough socks, I may put one on every jar, because it also helps protect from light and my storage is not completely dark.
 

Alaskan

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I put those cushioned and grippy shelf liners under glassware. It helps to stabilize them during small quakes.

Picture from google

SmartSelect_20220616-101253_Samsung Internet.jpg


It would probably be good under cans too.
 

Fixit

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First yes you can put your home canned goods in the same space but..... That space should not be that cold . Most things will want to be somewhere between 46 and 34 degrees.
If it's cold enough to freeze the canned goods it's cold enough to freeze to moister in the fruits and veggies.
 

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