This weekend I harvested my Yukon Gold potatoes and saw the apples on the tree growing bigger and bigger. All this growth got me thinking about root cellaring. Root cellars are typically underground storage areas for crops throughout the winter months. Potatoes, carrots, apples, cabbages, and even tomatoes can be stored in a root cellar over the winter to extend your fresh foods onto the cold unproductive months.
Historically, root cellars have been under the house or cut into a hillside. Both of these have the ability to keep the contents cool and dark for months at a time. Now root cellars have grown out of style with the advent of refrigeration units and the grocery store. Why store your food if you can go buy it when you need it?
Many people now would like to exercise their food independence, know where there food comes from, or just know that they have extra. These are all excellent reasons to have a root cellar.
The drawbacks are that if you do not have a cellar or a hillside storage area you may wonder where to store the extras. Some advocate using a cool dark closet in your house. This many times is too warm to be effective. The ideal temperature for a root cellar is between 32 and 40 degrees.
I am thinking of trying to create a root cellar from a new metal garbage can. When I do I will post the how to here.
Do you have a root cellar? What do you store in there? Do you want to share pictures?