Why do I need a root cellar?

I’ve been gardening for about 15 years now. I’ve gardened at home, at a neighbor’s house, at a community garden, in full sun, in half-shade, in the ground, in raised beds, in containers of all sizes, in a small greenhouse, on the windowsill, under lights, and in the weedy strip between two parking lots. I’veContinue reading “Why do I need a root cellar?”

Root cellar update: the best bins for my root cellar

In mid-January, I did a complete inventory and assessed the success of a variety of storage bins and insulators. I tried three basic bin/insulation types: solid plastic Rubbermaid tubs filled with damp peat moss; the same with damp cedar shavings (as I don’t have access to clean sawdust); and either wicker or plastic baskets withContinue reading “Root cellar update: the best bins for my root cellar”

Root cellar update: ventilation and humidity

Overall, I am very pleased with the root cellar I built last spring.  It’s keeping temperature well, not showing signs of mold or infestation, and most of the produce is in very good shape.  I have learned a few things and made some changes from the original design, though, and I’ve got some good preliminaryContinue reading “Root cellar update: ventilation and humidity”

Moving toward local eating: Storage

Part of the “Moving toward local eating” series Storing food is its own adventure.  No matter what climate you live in, different foods are harvested at different times of the year, and chances are you will want to store some food for the “off” season. It takes some space, especially if you start trying to,Continue reading “Moving toward local eating: Storage”

Root cellar: full and experimental

So, I’ve loaded up the root cellar with goodies for the upcoming year.  I’m trying several different storage methods to see which works the best and is least annoying. Clockwise from top left: Wooden crate with jars of pickles and sauerkraut (unsealed jars – though I did boil the brine and dump it over theContinue reading “Root cellar: full and experimental”

Root cellar: walls and ceiling done; ventilation and shelves in progress

So, I’ve kept chipping away at the root cellar. I am pleased to say, the walls and ceiling are finished, right down to the paint! I also put in a new light fixture that will work in cold, damp environs, because the original shop light wouldn’t turn on when it got below 40. The tour,Continue reading “Root cellar: walls and ceiling done; ventilation and shelves in progress”

So close…root cellar insulation almost done.

It was a mixed bag working on the root cellar this weekend. Saturday, I got lots done (all the batts of insulation into the ceiling/floor joists) but on Sunday I was too tired and cranky (and breaking drill bits, and running out of hardware…) to get a whole lot done. But here’s the current status:Continue reading “So close…root cellar insulation almost done.”