Root Cellar Gurus here? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-15-2007, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am looking for real life experience with keeping things like cabbage, onions, carrots, kale, and potatoes in cold storage for use during the year. I do not have a good option for a root cellar. I have a basement but it is wet (as in there is a natural spring running through it for most of the year). I also have a yard and garage but we have months of very cold weather. Is there any way I can use any of these spaces with modification? I have read that a wet basement can be used but will need a space that is dehumidified which seems like it would be using too much energy to save energy. Is it really possible to keep this stuff edible for long periods of time? I am trying to do more "local eating" which requires taking the harvest bounty and preserving it. I want to start small and do some experimenting this summer but do not know where to start.
Yooper is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-16-2007, 06:32 PM
 
4lilfarmers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: vermont
Posts: 2,893
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
the best root cellaring book is called Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubell. It's all you need!

Your basement might be alright for some things. beets, carrots, potatoes, and some squashes like 40ish degrees and damp. that book tells you the exact humidity that you need. perhaps you could build a small room in your basement and watch the humidity.

more recently, we've left our carrots in the ground with some hay on top and harvest as we need them.

we store butternut and delicata squashes in our upstairs area that is closed off in the winter. they like 45-50 degrees and dry.

our onions and garlic are stored in our stairway to the basement where is tends to be a little warmer and a little drier (don't know exact temps...probably a little colder than upstairs).

using that book and experimenting over the years has worked for us...depending on our harvest (how much we have) we've had onions and potatoes until late spring (when they sprout) and squashes and carrots until about that time too.

mama  to 3 farmboys (, & ) and 1 farmgirl ()
4lilfarmers is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 08:26 PM
 
TinyFrog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Beautiful Pacific NorthWest
Posts: 1,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the book recommendation. I hope to build a root cellar in my unfinished basement next year.

Mama to my sweet Sophia, born at home on 4/6/11.
 
namaste.gif

TinyFrog is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 08:50 PM
 
sedalbj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 1,262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i am trying a root cellaring type of thing for the first time this fall/winter. i filled a big tub w/ damp sand and buried the vegs in there. so far they are doing ok, but i am pretty sure they aren't going to last as long as they could because the weather hasn't been, well, cold! at least i didn't have to worry about the freezing...
sedalbj is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 09:30 PM
 
Lilacmoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Anonymous was a woman
Posts: 424
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I was a lil one, my family had a huge root cellar.. an enormous square hole dug into the ground. We had a roof of wood and tin, it rose about a foot off the ground. There was a swing door and ladder. There were shelves for goodies and wooden bins for potatoes. Granny kept her carrots, beets etc in buckets of sand. Apples were wrapped in newspaper and placed in shallow wooden crates. Onions were braided by the shoots and hung. It was a time consumming project at first but really easy and cheap.
Lilacmoon is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilacmoon View Post
When I was a lil one, my family had a huge root cellar.. an enormous square hole dug into the ground. We had a roof of wood and tin, it rose about a foot off the ground. There was a swing door and ladder. There were shelves for goodies and wooden bins for potatoes. Granny kept her carrots, beets etc in buckets of sand. Apples were wrapped in newspaper and placed in shallow wooden crates. Onions were braided by the shoots and hung. It was a time consumming project at first but really easy and cheap.
So that was in the yard? Did it snow there? How cold did it get? I ask because we get 200+ inches a year and it gets quite cold here. I am sure there is a way to do it, just looking for tick-marks to set me in the right direction......
Yooper is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 10:16 PM
 
Lilacmoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Anonymous was a woman
Posts: 424
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We live in Western NC. Check out this link...

Walton Feed

Also, one of the Foxfire books has a chapter on root cellars, not sure which one. I'll look it up and let you know.
Lilacmoon is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off