Whats the best way to store dried root longterm? I hear alot of talk about the market getting better later in the year, but what are the pitfalls of storing root? Can it go moldy? Can it dry out too much?
Seeker, After my roots are dry I just store them in a paper grocery bag and keep that bag in a dry environment. If the roots are thouroughly dried you won't have any problems with molding. If the bag is full, or your sure you're not going to be adding more to that bag just fold down the top and staple it shut for added insurance against bugs getting into it. As far as weight loss, it should be very minimal although you will probably have a minute amount.
I have never really stored mine what I would call long term.
What I do is this:
I dry mine indoors (HVAC system cooled/heated space) which we normally keep around 72/73 degrees. I have a couple of window screens that I lay my washed seng out on and space it out enough that none is laying on top of the other. I have those screens setup so that there is good air circulation over and under the drying seng.
I don't rush it at all - I give it 3-4 weeks on that screen (big fat roots may take more time) and then once it feels fairly dry I remove it from the screen and place it in a cardboard box (large flat box with the top open) and there I will just pile it in. Again the room I have that box in is in conditioned air space so there is no moisture issues.
I don't let it get too deep in that box, 6-8\" or so, then I start filling another box and I keep it sort of fluffed up in there (not packed in).
I think the main thing is moisture control and air circulation.
I have never had any problems with mold or anything like that but now I have always dried mine in HVAC system air space, made sure there was good air circulation and kept it spaced out fairly well.
I have never kept mine for more than just a few months after digging season ended though - usually sold by Christmas.
This year I may keep mine longer - that is if the price still seems to be moving up - I may keep it until mid-or-end of March which is when our dealers can buy/sell the last of it.
Yeah, by saying \"long term\" I meant a couple months or so. You guys completely answered my questions.
Thank You. I'm going to get out a few more times, before frost sets in up here in NY, so I just wanted to finish up, before I take that 2 1/2 hour drive downstate to sell.
Times like this, i'm glad I wasn't born colorblind!!!
One other quick question.
The buyer I found prefers the root to be harvested, kept in a ziplok bag, and refrigerated until sale. He didn't want it dry.
Any thoughts on that, as I thought the preferred method was dried?
I also have a question about this. I came in the house the other day and my wife was vaccuming the drying box because \"it was dirty and she needs to dry apples\". (I made the thing for her and her apples but, kinda took it over) I looked for the dirt in the vaccum (bag less) and all I could see was hair roots. Once the shock wore off I then got my own screen and layed out some fresh roots. After about 3 days I noticed the hair roots falling off. They are in the house with AC so no moisture and no handling after laying out to dry. What am I doing wrong and will this hurt my bottom dollar?
Those tiny little hair roots are going to break off either on the screens, or after you put them in whatever type of storage container you keep them in. If you are loosing larger ones you may be handling them too much. I try not to handle mine at all after I lay them out to dry. When I go to sell it there are always some very fine pieces of hair roots in the bottom of the bag. You might loose an ounce of weight if you'd have say 10- 15 pounds or more.