A pantry can be extremely useful for polytunnel gardeners – some might even go so far as to describe it as a necessity for those who wish to grow and eat their own food all year round. But not all of us are lucky enough to have a pantry already in our homes. So how should we go about creating a new pantry for our polytunnel produce? These pantry design tips will help you to create your new pantry, and will also help you make sure that it is fit for purpose – a space that really will come in handy.
Creating a New Pantry
If you need to create a new pantry, the first thing to think about is whether or not you have the space to incorporate one into your home. Remember, not all pantries need to be full, walk-in rooms. To bring life to the idea, in its simplest form, you can make a small pantry simply by creating a well-ventilated yet insulated cupboard space.
It is important that a pantry is well-ventilated and insulated, as it is vital that it remain at a cool and constant temperature and humidity in order to keep food fresh.
If you are struggling to work out how you can incorporate a pantry into your home, consider how you may be able to create a pantry space somewhere in your garden. A sub-soil root cellar could be an answer.
Thinking About How You Will Use Your Pantry
Thinking about how and for what you will use your pantry will help you to determine how large it should be, and how the storage within it should be laid out. Think about your gardening year and consider what it would be helpful to be able to store through each part of the year. Eating seasonally is great for sustainability, but sometimes you will want to enjoy the tastes of summer in the winter months. Think carefully about how a pantry (along with traditional preservation techniques) could help you to achieve that goal.
Utilising Reclaimed Materials
Creating shelving and work space in a pantry can be achieved more cheaply than you might imagine. One useful route to go down involves using reclaimed materials to make and furnish your new pantry. For example, you can make shelves using old wooden pallets, old chicken wire and scrap wood, and other reclaimed materials that you may be able to find lying around.
Another important thing to think about, whether your pantry is large or small, is layout. The right layout can save a lot of time and effort when it comes to preparing and using the produce and preserves from your polytunnel. Make sure that you can reach and easily access everything you are storing, and make it easy through careful organisation to use up produce in a timely and logical fashion.
These basic tips should help you begin to plan your new pantry, and to enjoy access to your polytunnel grown produce all year round. Do you have any pantry design tips? If you do, please feel free to share these in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.