Why you need a potato & onion storage bin

This is absolutely the most awesome gift I have been given in years! This is a wooden potato and onion storage bin used for long term food storage of root vegetables. I keep it in my kitchen so it's close by when I'm cooking. 

storage box root vegetable

I have no idea how old this potato and onion bin is or where it originally was purchased. Sadly, it was the item chosen for us from a relatives estate last summer. I have to admit that it was a perfect choice for us! I think of our beloved Nunny every single time I use it and it matches the decor here perfectly.

Potato and onion storage bin

As you know, both potatoes and onions need cool, dark & dry storage. Many people tend to store them together since they prefer the same climate...however if they're too close together they will actually spoil faster. EEK! 

The gases given off by the onions can cause the potatoes to sprout faster. Some people prefer a separate potato bin for this reason.

The nice thing about this bin is that the compartments are completely separate. There in no airflow between the two compartments, so it keeps those onion gases away from the potatoes. Each bin also has a small hole in the back to allow limited airflow.  

Our main kitchen is in the basement of our home. Even when I'm cooking for hours, it rarely gets hot. This makes for the perfect temperature for a root vegetable storage area. 

Lots of people store their potatoes and onions in the refrigerator but that's not correct. They do much better at slightly cooler than room temperature. If your potatoes are store bought, do not store them in a plastic bag. Any moisture inside the bag can cause them to rot.

potato storage bin

History of the potato & onion bin

This bin appears to be handmade. I've done a little research and have seen it described as "Typical Americana" and 'vintage'. Pretty sure that's just a catch-all term for 70's and earlier! lol 

We don't know how long Nunny had it. We don't know if it was handed down to her, or if she purchased it new. I often wonder if it reminded her of the past. I do try very hard to bring back the past here at the farm! 

I don't grow potatoes yet, so that's a grocery bag in the picture. I did grow those onions though! Yummy! 

Related reading: Early methods of food storage.

What a great way to store the harvest! It's even inspired me to try to grow my own potatoes this summer. I'll let you know how it goes!


Update: I learned how to grow potatoes! The Easiest Way To Grow Potatoes describes how I grew pounds of potatoes in empty feed bags!

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  1. I know someone who could use that...that is a perfect bin! thanks for sharing...

    1. You can find new ones at Amish style woodworking stores...at least around here they have them. I did see some on Ebay while trying to research it. Good luck!


  2. Deja Vu because my mom had something like this years ago...You have a great find there! :)

    1. I think I recall my grat grandmother having one years ago too. Thanks for stopping by!