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Root cellars

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Root cellars

Post  R&R 1011 on 1/2/2014, 1:37 am

Anybody have a root cellar?  Can you tell me about them?

I searched the site and didnt really see anything about them.  Im googling and wondering if my basement is perfect for a root cellar.  In fact, when we moved in there were dried up bunches of onions hanging from the ceiling joists and flower bulbs in styrofoam coolers. Its unfinished, made up of a stone walls, crawl spaces, and half cement/ half dirt floor, and completely dark.

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Re: Root cellars

Post  mollyhespra on 1/2/2014, 9:53 am

AH! Your basement sounds perfect! How's the humidity & temps down there at this time of year? It would be a good winter to get some data in preparation for whatever you're going to be storing. Not everything likes it cool & damp. Some things like it cool & dry.

I don't have a root cellar myself, but it's on my wish-list for...sometime...in the future. We'll have to build an actual root cellar outside someplace if I want to have a dedicated space, which will be quite a project. I have some basement space that's good for a pantry & I have some cans, etc. down there, but this winter I'm keeping my onions, shallots, etc. and some squash in an upstairs room that's actually cooler than the basement, which is kept toastier than the upstairs by the woodstove.

I have a book I bought to learn about root cellars: Root Cellaring by Mike & Nancy Bubel which has been informative & useful. I didn't find much online. My suggestion is to go to your local library & see if they can get this book for you (there may be others, I'm just only familiar with this one).

Keep us posted, I'm curious to see what you come up with.

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Re: Root cellars

Post  R&R 1011 on 1/2/2014, 1:28 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:AH!  Your basement sounds perfect!  How's the humidity & temps down there at this time of year?  It would be a good winter to get some data in preparation for whatever you're going to be storing.  Not everything likes it cool & damp.  Some things like it cool & dry.

I don't have a root cellar myself, but it's on my wish-list for...sometime...in the future.  We'll have to build an actual root cellar outside someplace if I want to have a dedicated space, which will be quite a project.  I have some basement space that's good for a pantry & I have some cans, etc. down there, but this winter I'm keeping my onions, shallots, etc. and some squash in an upstairs room that's actually cooler than the basement, which is kept toastier than the upstairs by the woodstove.  

I have a book I bought to learn about root cellars: Root Cellaring by Mike & Nancy Bubel which has been informative & useful.  I didn't find much online.  My suggestion is to go to your local library & see if they can get this book for you (there may be others, I'm just only familiar with this one).

Keep us posted, I'm curious to see what you come up with.
I did run across a blog last night where a woman had a thermometer/ humidity gauge in her basement and experimented with storing food.  I just added one to my amazon list.  I also found a free digital root cellar book with good reviews on amazon last night and see what kind of information it has.  

Thanks for the info., I may see what our library has.  I must say Im jealous you have a woodstove!

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Re: Root cellars

Post  mollyhespra on 1/3/2014, 8:11 am

Can you post the link to that free e-book?  I'm going to go see if I can find it as soon as I'm done posting, but it would be helpful to have a link.  

And yes, a thermometer & humidity gauge would be a good idea if you've got big plans, which is seems you do.  

What foodstuffs do you plan on storing in your cellar?

ETA:  I think I found the book.  Is it this one: $10 Root Cellar: And Other Low-Cost Methods of Growing, Storing, and Using Root Vegetables

P.S. We like our woodstove, too! It's really nice on a cold evening but it does tend to dry out the air an awful lot. I've taken to putting a big stainless steel bowl full of water on top of it just to try to get some moisture back in the air.

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Re: Root cellars

Post  R&R 1011 on 1/3/2014, 12:30 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:Can you post the link to that free e-book?  I'm going to go see if I can find it as soon as I'm done posting, but it would be helpful to have a link.  

And yes, a thermometer & humidity gauge would be a good idea if you've got big plans, which is seems you do.  

What foodstuffs do you plan on storing in your cellar?

ETA:  I think I found the book.  Is it this one: $10 Root Cellar: And Other Low-Cost Methods of Growing, Storing, and Using Root Vegetables

P.S. We like our woodstove, too!  It's really nice on a cold evening but it does tend to dry out the air an awful lot.  I've taken to putting a big stainless steel bowl full of water on top of it just to try to get some moisture back in the air.
Ill store anything I can.  I have plenty of room for cans in our pantry above the cabinets so the cellar would just be used for garden produce.  

Yep, thats the book.  We have a plan old gas fireplace, but need to have it looked over before I dare use it.  Since we have young children we're kind of putting it off.

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Re: Root cellars

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