Preserving Potatoes the Ancient Way: Lessons from Gojal Valley

    A Sustainable and Effective Method for Potato Storage


    In the secluded Gojal Valley of Hunza, located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, an age-old technique for potato storage has been passed down through generations. The process is straightforward: farmers bury their potatoes in the frosty ground before the onset of winter. Despite the plummeting external temperatures, the potatoes remain fresh and edible for an extended period.

    This storage method is believed to have been born out of the region’s unforgiving winter conditions. The frozen soil acts as a natural insulator, preventing the potatoes from freezing. Straw is commonly used to cover the potatoes, adding an extra layer of insulation and moisture control.

    Today, this enduring method continues to be widely practiced in Gojal Valley. It offers a cost-effective, sustainable, and safe way to store potatoes.

    How to Implement This Ancient Technique

    1. Harvest mature potatoes.
    2. Allow them to dry in a cool, shaded area for several days.
    3. Dig a sufficiently deep hole in the ground.
    4. Line the hole with straw.
    5. Place the potatoes in the hole and cover them with more straw.
    6. Seal the hole with a layer of soil and lightly water it.

    By following these steps, your potatoes should remain fresh and edible for a considerable amount of time.