Whether you have been a grain share member for years, just got your first grain share, or are thinking about getting one this page has some really important information about storing your share.
Grains are very easy to store and use. They will generally keep in whole form for 1 to 2 years at a stable room temperature.
For best keeping do not store your grain in The attic, basement or garage. Temperature fluctuations can lead to condensation and mold growth.
My other primary recommendation for storage is to use glass jars for storage and keep the grains on your counters and in your kitchen cupboards. Glass is moth proof, rodent proof, and more sanitary and clean than plastic as scratches in plastic can harbor mold and bugs. It is not necessary to seal your jars but they should be kept in closed containers to keep bugs and moisture out.
If you need to look beyond your kitchen for storing extra grain use a first floor closet or pantry space. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll have no problems! A full share only takes up 4 cubic feet so any standard single kitchen cupboard will fit the entire thing. A combination of counter top and cupboard storage works great!
The most perishable offerings in the share are of course the flours. They store well at room temperature for several months(January through April) at which point flour should be moved to the fridge(6-12 months) or freezer(2 years or more in a temperature stable freezer) in glass or heavy plastic containers.
The second most perishable item in the share is the Nothstine Dent, popcorn and Plymouth Flint corn. These are the largest kernels and are harvested the latest in the years so they tend to have a little more moisture in them than the small grains.
These are best kept in paper bags until April at which point they can go into glass jars. While they are in paper give them a shake once in a while to make sure they are drying evenly.
The popcorn will generally pop better as it drys out so if your not used to popping you may want to wait until March or April to try a batch.
Rolled oats keep at room temperature for 6 months in your kitchen and then should be moved to the fridge or freezer for longer storage. Steel cut will last the year and whole oat groats can last up to several years at room temperature.
All the other small grains and beans are very dry and ready for storage in glass even with sealed lids if you like.
While it’s not necessary to wash any of your grains you are always welcome to wash them in several changes of water if you want to get them super clean. If you are going to cook them anyway this adds very little time. If you are going to grind them after washing you have to dry them thoroughly before grinding.
To wash your grains place them in a container several times larger than the amount of grain being washed. Then cover by several inches of water and stir. Pour off anything that floats. Repeat until water runs clear and nothing floats.
Pantry moths are caused by having things like sugar, pasta, flour and other edibles stored in your cupboards in paper or plastic bags. The moths eat through these bags and proliferate sneakily. Simply by storing all your edibles in glass or heavy duty plastic proliferation is eliminated. If moths do get in your grains you can always pop them in the freezer for a week and all moths will be eliminated.
If you have moths it is time to take everything out of your pantry and either throw old stuff away or at least put it in glass so it can’t spread to your new grains. If you keep your new grains in glass they won’t get in anyway but who needs moths…all long term storage(longer than a week) should be in glass or heavy plastic and you’ll have no problems.